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Trail Blazers-Nets game postponed due to Brooklyn's COVID outbreak

It is the eighth postponement of the season because of virus-related reasons and the third consecutive Nets game to be pushed back.
Credit: AP
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in New York. The Nets won 114-105. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

PORTLAND, Ore — The NBA has postponed Brooklyn’s game scheduled for Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers 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.

RELATED: Lillard scores 32 points, Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies

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. 

RELATED: Damian Lillard shoots down trade talk: 'My intentions are to be in Portland and to figure it out'

Pelicans beat Blazers Tuesday night, 111-97

Brandon Ingram had 28 points, Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 22 of his 27 in the second half and New Orleans beat Portland for its first three-game winning streak of the season. 

Josh Hart added 20 points for the Pelicans, who shot 52.5% while winning for the eighth time in 13 games following a 3-16 start — all while awaiting the return of All-Star forward Zion Williamsons from an offseason foot injury. 

Damian Lillard scored 39 for the Trail Blazers, who won their previous two games. Jusuf Nurkic added 17 points and Norman Powell had 16.

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