Houston-Oklahoma NBA game postponed after 3 coronavirus cases, violation of league COVID-19 protocols

Houston’s season opener Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder has been postponed after positive or inconclusive coronavirus test results and James Harden’s violation of the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols left the Rockets without the league-mandated eight players available.

The NBA announced the postponement in a release that said three Rockets players had returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive and that four other players were quarantined because of contract tracing.

The release also said that Harden was unavailable for the game because of a violation of NBA health and safety protocols after video surfaced on social media of the Rockets star, who was seen without a mask at a crowded party in a private event space Tuesday night.

Rumours have swirled for months that Harden wants to be traded, but he has refused to address the situation.

A ninth player was unavailable for the game because of an injury, leaving the Rockets without enough players for the game to go ahead Wednesday night.

Houston’s injury report, released Wednesday morning, said Ben McLemore and rookie KJ Martin were not with the team and were self-isolating and that DeMarcus Cousins was questionable because of a sprained right ankle.

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