ORLANDO, Fla. - The NBA on Sunday postponed a total of five games involving nine teams in response to rising coronavirus numbers, raising the number of contests that have been pushed back this season to seven.
Called off were three Sunday games: Cleveland at Atlanta, Denver at Brooklyn and New Orleans at Philadelphia. Also shelved were Orlando's game at Toronto on Monday and Washington's game at Brooklyn on Tuesday.
The postponements came on the same day that Atlanta announced star guard Trae Young entered the league's health and safety protocols and the Los Angeles Lakers said coach Frank Vogel also was added to the list.
Leaguewide, through Sunday afternoon, there were at least 68 players who have either been ruled out to play — or in the case of the postponed games, would have been ruled out — because they are in the protocols. That number has soared in recent days, with the NBA just one of many sports leagues worldwide dealing with a rapidly worsening issue.
U.S. officials are expecting a wave of breakthrough infections among the vaccinated given the surge of holiday travelers and gatherings expected in the coming days. The NBA has said 97% of players are fully vaccinated and somewhere around 60% had received boosters as of last week. It was not clear how many of the current positive cases involve those who are ineligible for a booster shot or those who have chosen not to receive one.
Also not clear is how many of the NBA cases involve asymptomatic players.
The following games were impacted:
Sunday, Dec. 19
- Denver at Brooklyn
- Cleveland at Atlanta
- New Orleans at Philadelphia
Monday, Dec. 20
- Orlando at Toronto
Tuesday, Dec. 21
- Washington at Brooklyn
Many sports fans were left disappointed this weekend after new COVID-19 infections led games across several leagues to be rescheduled.
Orlando Magic fans were among them.
The Magic started calling up new players from a lower league in Lakeland to fill gaps in their lineup after five players tested positive for the virus on Friday.
Stay tuned to FOX 35 Orlando for updates on this story.