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NBA postpones five games amid COVID-19 surge

By Allen Cone
NBA postpones five games amid COVID-19 surge
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reacts after his three-point shot against the Atlanta Hawks at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on November 3. Durant is among 10 Nets players in the league's health and safety protocols. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE

Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The NBA on Sunday postponed five games scheduled for Sunday, Monday or Tuesday "because of players and staff members entering the NBA's Health and Safety Protocols" involving COVID-19.

That includes the next two games for the Brooklyn Nets.

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The games are Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday; Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptor on Monday and Washington Wizard at Brooklyn on Tuesday, the NBA said.

No new dates were announced.

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The Nets have 10 players in the league's health and safety protocols, including stars Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, ESPN reported.

On Sunday, Cleveland had five players test positive for COVID-19.

Amid rising cases, the league said it was tighteningCOVID-19 restrictions, including mandating that teams wear masks unless players are on the court or during games for head coaches.

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Two other games were postponed earlier this season. The Chicago Bulls had two games postponed last week but one game was postoned until Sunday night at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.

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On March 11, 2020, the NBA announced the suspension of the 2019-20 season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testedpositive for COVID-19 hours before the Jazz road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The season was suspended until July 22 with all games played in the "NBA Bubble" in Orlando.

The NFL and NHL have also had their schedules altered.

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The NFL announced on Friday it would be postponing three games scheduled for Saturday or Sunday. The Cleveland Browns will host the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday instead of Saturday. The Los Angeles Rams will host the Seattle Seahawks, and the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Washington Football Team on Tuesday instead of Sunday.

All NFL games were played in 2020 but many were postponed.

In the NHL, all Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames games have been postponed through the NHL holiday break, which runs through Sunday.

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