Coronavirus: NBA postpones Sunday's Philadelphia v Oklahoma City game

NEW YORK (AFP, REUTERS) – The National Basketball Association game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder that was scheduled for Sunday (Jan 17) was postponed by the league hours before tip-off due to Covid-19 safety protocol issues.

The visiting Sixers did not have the minimum eight players available for the game due to ongoing Covid-19 contract tracing within the club.

Cameroonian star centre Joel Embiid of the 76ers had been ruled out of the contest due to a sore right knee that sidelined him from Philadelphia’s 106-104 loss at Memphis.

The Sixers rank fourth in the Eastern Conference at 9-5 while the Thunder are among four 6-6 clubs sharing eighth in the Western Conference.

The 76ers-Thunder game was the second of the day to be postponed after a Cleveland versus Washington contest had been delayed due to six Covid-19 positives on the Wizards’ roster.

It marks the seventh day in the past eight in which the NBA has had at least one game postponed due to Covid-19 safety protocols in a season that began four weeks ago and features teams playing in home arenas.

Big wins for Knicks, Bulls

In Boston, the New York Knicks snapped their five-game losing streak in emphatic style on Sunday, holding the Celtics to a season-low total in a 105-75 blowout win.

In Dallas, Lauri Markkanen had a season-high 29 points to go with 10 rebounds and Garrett Temple scored 17 of his season-high 21 points in the first half as the Chicago Bulls snapped a four-game losing streak with a 117-101 victory against the Mavericks.

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