NEW YORK — The Toronto Raptors’ COVID-19 troubles have worsened.
The NBA called off Toronto’s game against the visiting Chicago Bulls on Sunday night due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The league said the Raptors are dealing with positive test results, and combined with contact tracing issues, won’t have the league-required eight players available for the game.
The Raptors were missing head coach Nick Nurse, five members of his staff and star forward Pascal Siakam for Friday’s victory over Houston. Assistant Sergio Scariolo stepped in to coach the team to a 122-111 win.
The Raptors had largely managed to dodge the global pandemic in an NBA season reeling from COVID-19 cases. This is Toronto’s first game rescheduled due to COVID-19, but the 30th this season league-wide. Prior to Sunday, the Raptors had been one of just four teams with no game postponements.
The Raptors had 14 players available on Friday, and played 12. Siakam was the only Raptor player listed on Saturday’s injury report as out due to health and safety protocols, suggesting the results and contact tracing investigations from Saturday showed either positive tests or exposure to individuals who had positive results.
The names of players or staff members affected were not revealed.
Players and staff are tested twice daily.
Because of Canada’s border regulations around COVID-19, and health and safety measures in Toronto, the Raptors are playing their home games out of Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
The Raptors’ next game, at least for now, is Tuesday against Detroit. Toronto then plays Boston in the team’s final game before the NBA all-star break.
— With files from The Associated Press