Hawks-Suns game postponed due to COVID-19 issues

Hawks-Suns game postponed due to COVID-19 issues
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives to the basket past Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman) (Jacob Kupferman)

Wednesday’s night game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Phoenix Suns has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues.

The NBA announced just before noon that the Suns does not have the league-required eight players available because of ongoing contact tracing.

Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce told Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein that he is self isolating in his hotel room.

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Pierce said he came into close contact with someone on staff who tested positive for COVID-19 but he tested negative for it.

This is the third game on Wednesday’s schedule to be called, joining Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics.

The postponement was the sixth in the league since Sunday, and the seventh overall this season.

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The NBA announced that out of 497 players tested since Jan. 6 that 16 new players tested positive for COVID-19.

“Anyone who has returned a confirmed positive test, or has been identified as having been in close contact to an infected person, is isolated or quarantined until they are cleared under the rules established by the NBA and the Players Association in accordance with CDC guidance,” the league said.

The league and the players association released updated rules on Tuesday that will be in place for “at least the next two weeks.”

The rules require players and team staff to remain at their residences when they are home and being prohibited from leaving their hotels when on the road — with exceptions primarily for practices and games.

Additional measures now include limiting team pregame meetings in locker rooms to 10 minutes and everyone must wear a mask. The mask-wearing rules in bench areas during games have also been stiffened.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.