NBA Celtics-Heat game postponed as Covid measures Heat exhaustion

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New York (AFP)

The NBA game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat was postponed Sunday as security protocols related to Covid-19 left the Heat with too few players available.

“Due to the ongoing search for contact with the Heat, the team does not have the eight available players required by the league to participate in tonight’s game against the Celtics,” the NBA said in a statement.

The Heat’s Sunday afternoon injury report said Avery Bradley was out due to health and safety protocols. Athletic’s website reported that a Heat player returned an inconclusive Covid-19 test.

After further NBA contact tracing measures, enough players were deemed likely to be exposed to a forced postponement of the game.

The Celtics had previously said they will have the minimum of eight players in uniform with seven of their players absent due to positive or inconclusive tests or threats of exposure.

It’s the second NBA game this season to be postponed due to coronavirus safety protocols.

A game between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed in the first week of the campaign when contact tracing and injury measures left the Rockets with fewer than eight players available.

The Celtics and Heat met in Miami last Wednesday. Since then, Boston scoring leader Jayson Tatum and blocked shots leader Robert Williams have reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.

Jaylen Brown, Javonte Green, Semi Ojeleye, Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams, of Boston, were also ruled out on Sunday due to NBA virus health and safety protocols.

The Celtics and Heat had played since their last meeting.

The Heat are then set to play Tuesday and Thursday in Philadelphia, where the 76ers have faced absences related to the coronavirus.

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said he needed to put an injured player in uniform to have the eight-man minimum available for a home game against Denver on Saturday, which the Nuggets easily won 115-103.

Rivers said on Saturday that he believed the game should be postponed.

And Nuggets coach Mike Malone, who was without Michael Porter due to a Covid-related quarantine, said he believed the league “was going to start seeing more.”

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