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NBA postpones Houston Rockets-Oklahoma CIty Thunder game

The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder game scheduled for Wednesday night has been postponed as the Rockets do not have the league-required eight available players needed to proceed with the contest, the NBA announced.

The NBA said three Rockets players have returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive for coronavirus under the NBA’s testing program. In addition, four other players are quarantined at this time under the contact tracing protocol, and Chris Clemons (ruptured Achilles) was unavailable due to injury.

The league also said Rockets star James Harden was unavailable for Wednesday’s game “due to a violation of the Health and Safety Protocol” based on a video, published by Black Sports Online, that has been circulating in recent days in which he appeared maskless at a Houston club.

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The NBA made the announcement at about 5:30 p.m. ET, with the game’s tipoff scheduled for 8 p.m. ET in Houston.

Contact tracing protocols caused the Rockets to send home three players Wednesday after rookie teammate Kenyon Martin Jr. returned a positive coronavirus test and needed to be tested again for confirmation and was awaiting those results, sources told ESPN.

John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Martin were among Rockets players gathered on Tuesday evening at a player’s apartment away from the team facility getting haircuts, sources told ESPN.

Wall and Cousins tested negative for the coronavirus Wednesday morning, but are quarantined due to contact tracing along with Rockets rookie Jae’Sean Tate and two-way player Mason Jones, sources told ESPN.

The NBA’s new protocol on contact tracing gives the league the ability to make decisions on possible timelines for return if players continue to test negative.

The Rockets already had one player, Ben McLemore, away from the team for a few days with the coronavirus, sources said.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks, Tim Bontemps and Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

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