More COVID woes: NBA postpones Thursday's Nets-Blazers game

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NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has postponed Brooklyn's game scheduled for Thursday at Portland because the coronavirus-ravaged Nets do not have the league-minimum eight players available for the contest.

The league made the announcement Wednesday. It is the eighth postponement of the season because of virus-related reasons and the third consecutive Nets game to be pushed back.

And it means that Brooklyn's next possible game would be Saturday — part of the NBA's five-game Christmas slate, with the Nets scheduled to visit the Los Angeles Lakers.

Brooklyn has what is believed to be a league-high 10 players in the health and safety protocols, a list that includes Kevin Durant, James Harden and — even though he has yet to play this season — Kyrie Irving.

The league entered Wednesday with 84 players from 20 teams known to be in the protocols, a figure that fluctuates almost on an hourly basis. But the NBA has no plans to pause the season, Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week.

If the Nets-Lakers game ends up postponed as well, the NBA is reserving the right to move another game into that 8 p.m. Eastern time slot to accommodate ABC's needs. The league told the 10 teams with games scheduled on Christmas that shifting some starting times is a possibility and that the priority is filling ABC's 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. game slots.

For now, those games, in order, would have Boston at Milwaukee, Golden State at Phoenix and Brooklyn at the Lakers.

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The Associated Press

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