Boston Celtics

Celtics-Heat Game Postponed Due to COVID Health and Safety Protocols

Because of ongoing contract tracing with the Heat, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with the game against the Celtics, the NBA said.

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Sunday night's game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat has been postponed in accordance with the NBA's health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.

Because of ongoing contract tracing with the Heat, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with the game against the Celtics, the league said in a statement.

The Heat ruled out Avery Bradley because of the protocols, and the team was conducting contact tracing to see if anyone else wouldn't be eligible to play, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press.

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The Celtics would have been without a total of nine players for the game, including seven players due to the NBA's health and safety protocols for dealing with COVID-19. That's the most any team has been without because of virus-related issues so far this season but does not necessarily mean any of the affected Celtics tested positive for COVID-19. 

Two other C's players were listed as unavailable in the team's final injury report due to injury.

Here was the full Celtics injury report:

OUT

Jaylen Brown (Health and safety protocols)

Jayson Tatum (Health and safety protocols)

Javonte Green (Health and safety protocols)

Semi Ojeleye (Health and safety protocols)

Tristan Thompson (Health and safety protocols)

Grant Williams (Health and safety protocols)

Robert Williams (Health and safety protocols)

Kemba Walker (Left knee injury recovery)

Romeo Langford (Right wrist surgery)

These nine absences left the Celtics with just eight players -- the minimum required -- available to play Sunday night. The eight players able to play were listed as Marcus Smart, Jeff Teague, Payton Pritchard, Tremont Waters, Carsen Edwards, Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis and Tacko Fall.

While the Celtics-Heat game had to be postponed, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, citing sources, reported the NBA has no plans to pause the season despite thinning rosters because of COVID-19 protocols.

It is the second game postponed in the NBA this season. A game between Oklahoma City and Houston was postponed on Dec. 23 because the Rockets did not have enough eligible players to play -- three had returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive for the coronavirus, four others were quarantined, James Harden was unavailable for violating the protocols and another player was out with an injury. That left Houston with seven players. 

There was no immediate word on when Sunday's game, which was scheduled to be played at 7 p.m. at TD Garden, will be rescheduled for. The league built some flexibility into its scheduling by only releasing dates for the first half of the season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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