Toronto Raptors assistant coach Sergio Scariolo calls a play during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Scariolo is filling in for head coach Nick Nurse, who is missing the game due to coronavirus protocol. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Raptors’ virus issues worsen, game vs. Bulls called off

The Toronto Raptors’ issues with the coronavirus have worsened, prompting the NBA to call off their game scheduled for Sunday night against the Chicago Bulls.

The league said the Raptors are dealing with positive test results, without disclosing how many, and that combined with ongoing contact tracing issues meant they would not have the league-required eight players available to play.

Toronto played Friday without head coach Nick Nurse, several other assistants and staffers and starting forward Pascal Siakam because of virus-related issues. Assistant coach Sergio Scariolo coached the team to a win over Houston and was in line to coach again Sunday.

All NBA players and coaches are tested daily. The Raptors used 12 players on Friday and had 14 listed as available to play that night. For Sunday’s game, Siakam was the only player who had been listed on Saturday’s injury report as out because of health and safety protocols — which indicates that results that came back on Saturday either showed more problems, or the contact tracing investigations showed that players had been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have to quarantine.

The Raptors-Bulls game is the 30th to be postponed so far this season because of COVID-19 testing or contact tracing.

Chicago had travelled to Tampa on Saturday for the game and after the postponement was announced changed its travel plans to fly back home Sunday afternoon. The Bulls are scheduled to play Monday at home against Denver.

Toronto’s next game, for now anyway, is scheduled to be Tuesday against Detroit.

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