The Washington Post
The scheduled game between the Celtics and Heat is postponed amid substantial coronavirus concerns.
Boston was going to have to face Miami with the NBA minimum of eight players Sunday night. Turns out, the Heat didn’t even have that many.
Sunday’s game between Boston and Miami was postponed — not because the Celtics ruled out seven players because of the league’s health and safety protocols for playing during the coronavirus pandemic but because of concerns of exposure within the Heat roster.
The Heat learned earlier Sunday that guard Avery Bradley would not be available for the game in Boston because of the covid-19 protocols. That meant the Heat had to go through the contact tracing data, and with that process still ongoing late Sunday afternoon, the game was postponed.
“You are starting to see what is going on in our country directly affect the NBA because we are no longer in that safety net of the bubble,” Denver Coach Michael Malone said in New York after hearing of the Celtics-heat postponement.
The Celtics would have been without seven players for the game because of the NBA’S health and safety protocols, along with two others because of injury.
The Heat was staying in Boston for the remainder of the tracing process and is set to play at the Philadelphia 76ers — another team with virus-related issues — Tuesday and Thursday.
The Celtics-heat contest is the second game postponed in the NBA this season because of virus concerns. A game between Oklahoma City and Houston was postponed Dec. 23.
Leonard hits milestone
Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 35 points, going over 10,000 in his career, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied to beat the visiting Chicago Bulls, 130-127.
Leonard reached the milestone on one of his five three-pointers in the third quarter, when he scored 21 points. His points and threepointers were the most in a quarter in his career. In all, he had seven three-pointers, tying his career high.
LAKERS 120, ROCKETS 102: Anthony Davis had 27 points against Houston, Lebron James added 18, and visiting Los Angeles won for the sixth time in seven games.
It was a testy game that included five technical fouls, two flagrant fouls and the first-half ejections of Markieff Morris and DeMarcus Cousins.
THUNDER 129, NETS 116: Shai Gilgeous-alexander scored 31 points to lead Oklahoma City to a road win over Brooklyn.
Gilgeous-alexander was one of six players to finish in double-figure scoring for the Thunder. Hamidou Diallo finished with 25 points, Al Horford had 22, George Hill added 14, and Luguentz Dort and Isaiah Roby had 13 each.
NUGGETS 114, KNICKS 89: Nikola Jokic had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and Denver reached .500 for the first time this season with a win in New York.
The Nuggets opened 1-4 after reaching the Western Conference finals last season but have now answered with four wins in five games.
TIMBERWOLVES 96, SPURS 88: D’angelo Russell had 27 points, five rebounds and five assists as Minnesota snapped a seven-game losing streak with a win over San Antonio in Minneapolis.
Russell scored eight points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer to tie the score with 7:02 left and two late free throws to ice it.
JAZZ 96, PISTONS 86: Donovan Mitchell scored 13 of his 28 points in a decisive first quarter, and Utah held on for a road victory over Detroit.
The Jazz scored the game’s first nine points and never trailed, going on a 17-0 run later in the first.