Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, left, forward Kelly Olynyk, second from left, center Bam Adebayo, center and guard Duncan Robinson watch from the bench during a game Saturday in MIami. Lynne Sladkey/Associated Press

MIAMI  — Monday’s game in Miami between the Heat and the Detroit Pistons was pushed back five hours, with the league and teams making that decision so additional COVID-19 testing could be processed.

The game was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and was pushed back to 8 p.m, the league announced Monday afternoon.

It’s the latest development, albeit a relatively minor one, as a wave of schedule changes in the NBA has now stretched into a second week. The league has postponed 13 games involving 18 teams since Jan. 10, including one matchup that was to have taken place on Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day game schedule — Cleveland at Washington.

Phoenix was scheduled to play Monday in Memphis, ending a weeklong unplanned break for the Suns. Phoenix had three games delayed because of virus-related issues, which can include players dealing with positive COVID-19 tests, inconclusive tests or having to quarantine because contact tracing indicated they could have been exposed to someone who tested positive.

There have been 14 games called this season for coronavirus-related reasons so far. In addition to the 13 in recent days, the other was a planned Dec. 23 matchup between Oklahoma City and Houston that was pushed back because the Rockets did not have enough eligible players.

Delaying the Heat-Pistons start time did not affect Detroit’s travel schedule. The team was already planning to remain in Miami until Tuesday.


Postponed games, when possible, will be made up in the second half of the season, which will take place from March 11 – the one-year anniversary of last season shutting down because of the pandemic – through May 16. The league has not yet released that half of the schedule and isn’t expected to do so until late February at the earliest.

WIZARDS: Washington’s streak of postponed games grew again Monday, when the NBA announced that the Wizards’ game scheduled for Wednesday in Charlotte against the Hornets would be played at a later date.

Washington would not have had the league-required eight players eligible Wednesday – the team has had six players test positive for the coronavirus and has nine total players out because of the league’s health and safety protocols, which account for scenarios beyond positive tests, including contact tracing.

The game against the Hornets is the Wizards’ fifth consecutive postponement; the Wizards’ postponements account for one-third of the NBA’s total delayed games through the first four weeks of the season. No other team has had more than three games scratched, because no other team has had an outbreak as large as Washington’s.

The six positive cases ground team operations to a halt last week from Tuesday until Saturday, when the team could bring its healthy players back to its practice facility for individual workouts only. As for when the Wizards (3-8) might resume their season – they have not played or held group practice since a game against the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 11 – Friday’s scheduled game at the first-place Milwaukee Bucks appears to be a reasonable target, though not the gentlest reintroduction to league play.

NETS: Kyrie Irving will miss a seventh straight game when the Brooklyn Nets host the Milwaukee Bucks.


The Nets hoped their point guard would be able to return for the showdown against the Eastern Conference powers, listing him as questionable in Sunday’s injury report. Irving was downgraded to out on Monday afternoon.

Irving’s absence began when he missed a victory over Philadelphia on Jan. 7 for personal reasons. He was eligible to rejoin the Nets on Saturday after completing a five-day quarantine, but Coach Steve Nash said the team wanted to make sure he ramped up his conditioning carefully after missing so much time.

The Nets are next scheduled to play a pair of games on Wednesday and Friday in Cleveland, where Irving began his career.

CAVALIERS: Cleveland is moving on from troubled and talented forward Kevin Porter Jr., a person familiar with his standing with the team told The Associated Press.

The Cavs will either trade or release Porter, who has not played for them this season.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.


A first-round draft pick in 2019, Porter rejoined the team only last week after being away to attend to personal issues. He was in street clothes and on the bench with his teammates Friday night when the Cavs beat the New York Knicks.

Porter reportedly became angry when he learned the Cavs had moved his locker for newly acquired forward Taurean Prince, who came over in the four-team trade with the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the week.

NUGGETS: The struggling Denver Nuggets are expected to be without Michael Porter Jr. for a 10th straight game Tuesday night against Oklahoma City because of coronavirus protocols.

Coach Michael Malone said after practice Monday that Porter could join the team on their five-game trip that begins Friday in Phoenix. The Nuggets (6-7) can certainly use a lift from Porter. He’s averaging 19.5 points and 6.8 rebounds over four games.

“Of course, we miss Michael,” Malone said. “He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do here. When we do get him back, he will be a welcomed sight.”



KNICKS 91, MAGIC 84: R.J. Barrett scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, and Julius Randle added 21 points and 17 rebounds to lead New York to a win over Orlando in New York.

Elfrid Payton chipped in with 12 points and rookie guard Immanuel Quickley added 11 for the Knicks, who improved to 7-8 with their second straight win

Nikola Vucevic had 24 points and 14 rebounds for Orlando, which lost its sixth in a row and fell to 6-8. Aaron Gordon had 18 points and 17 rebounds while Terrence Ross added 19 points for the Magic.

Perhaps the early start – it was noon tip-off – affected both teams because New York led 47-38 after a first half in which the Knicks only made 37 percent of their shots and Orlando hit 32 percent.

New York’s lead grew to 68-54 after Obi Toppin’s alley-oop jam one minute into the fourth.

The Magic rallied and went ahead 81-80 when Ross’ 28-foot heave beat an expiring shot clock. The lead lasted for all of eight seconds, as Randle tied the game with a free throw.


On New York’s ensuing possession, Randle hit a floater during a run in which the Knicks scored nine straight points.

HAWKS 108, TIMBERWOLVES 97: Clint Capela had 23 points and 15 rebounds, De’Andre Hunter scored 25 and  Atlanta beat visiting Minnesota.

The Hawks, wearing black, tan and white uniforms with “MLK” sewn across the chest to commemorate the national holiday honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., snapped a two-game skid. They had dropped six of seven.

Trae Young had 20 points and 13 assists for Atlanta, which took its biggest lead, 15 points, on consecutive 3s from the right side by Kevin Huerter and Hunter with 5:59 remaining. The Timberwolves pulled within six before Young’s runner made it 100-92 with 2:01 left.

Capela’s left-handed hook pushed the lead to 102-94, and Young sealed it with a pair of free throws to make it 104-94 with 33.2 seconds to go.

D’Angelo Russell finished with 31 points for Minnesota, which has lost nine of 10.


GRIZZLIES 108, SUNS 104: Ja Morant had 17 points and 10 assists and took a key charge late as Memphis beat Phoenix for its fifth straight win.

Morant assisted on Grayson Allen’s 3-pointer with 1:06 left to give Memphis a 101-98 lead, then scored on a drive with 30.8 seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, Morant took a charge against Chris Paul to help maintain the Memphis lead.

Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 18 points and tied a season high with 16 rebounds. Mikal Bridges had 17 points, while Paul finished with 16 points and seven assists for Phoenix.

SPURS 125, TRAIL BLAZERS 104: LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points, DeMar DeRozan had 20 points and 11 assists as San Antonio Spurs won in Portland, Oregon.

Rudy Gay and Patty Mills came off the bench for 21 points apiece as the Spurs reserves outscored Portland backups 59-24. Reserve center Jakob Poeltl added 11 points and seven rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 35 points.

NETS 125, BUCKS 123: Kevin Durant made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, James Harden had 34 points and 12 assists, and Brooklyn edged Milwaukee in New York. Durant finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

RAPTORS 116, MAVERICKS 93: Kyle Lowry scored 23 points and Pascal Siakam had a big second half Monday night, leading Toronto to a win over Dallas in Tampa, Florida.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.