Mavs’ vs. Pelicans Game Postponed as NBA Grapples with Coronavirus Schedule Disruptions

The Mavericks and Hornets tip off as they play in the second quarter of a game at American Airlines Center on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Dallas. (Vernon Bryant / Staff Photographer)

The Mavericks’ game Monday night against the Pelicans in American Airlines Center has been postponed because of COVID-19 related issues, the league announced Monday morning.

The Mavericks, as of Sunday night, had four players quarantined because of health and safety protocols: Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson, who remain in Denver, and Maxi Kleber. Dallas closed its practice facility Sunday after Kleber’s test results.

The Mavericks would’ve had at least eight players available Monday to meet the league’s minimum threshold to play, vice president of basketball communications Scott Tomlin said. But the NBA opted to postpone the contest “to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and other personnel” as contact tracing continues.

The NBA also postponed Tuesday’s Boston-Chicago game because of the Celtics’ ongoing COVID-19 roster shortage. In its announcement, the league said it planned to hold a meeting Monday with the NBA Players Association “about modifying the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.”

So far, the NBA has postponed four games this season, with the Mavericks’ being the third, while attempting to hold its season outside a quarantined environment during the coronavirus pandemic.

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SOURCE: Dallas Morning News, Callie Caplan