Rockets-Thunder postponed due to Houston's COVID-19 outbreak | Inquirer Sports

Rockets-Thunder postponed due to Houston’s COVID-19 outbreak

/ 02:08 PM December 24, 2020
James Harden

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 10, 2020 James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Wednesday’s game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and host Houston was postponed because the Rockets didn’t have the league-mandated eight available players.

The postponement decision was made in accordance with the league’s health and safety protocols regarding COVID-19.


The NBA said three Rockets returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive under the testing program. Those results led to four other players being quarantined due to contact tracing.

The league states that the rest of the players returned negative tests on Wednesday.


Guard James Harden is unavailable after violating the COVID-19 protocol. The eight-time All-Star was being investigated after a video surfaced showing him purportedly partying maskless in a strip club. Harden denied being at a strip club, but the NBA fined him $50,000 on Wednesday for violating its coronavirus protocols.

As of the time the game was officially postponed Wednesday, the Rockets were in the dark on whether Harden faces further league punishment for his actions, according to ESPN.

ESPN reported that rookie forward Kenyon Martin Jr., a second-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, is one of the players who tested positive.

Houston turned in an injury report Wednesday afternoon listing Martin and guard Ben McLemore as out for the game. The reason for both was ” Not With Team — Self Isolating.”

McLemore tested positive several days ago, according to ESPN.

Wall, 30, a five-time All-Star, was slated to make his Houston debut. He joined the Rockets in the Dec. 2 trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards.

Cousins, 30, a four-time All-Star, signed a one-year deal with Houston in free agency on Nov. 30.

Harden, 31, has led the NBA in scoring in three straight seasons. He averaged 34.3 points in 68 games last season.

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