Some members of the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets take part in a shoot around before an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Chris O’Meara

Some members of the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets take part in a shoot around before an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Chris O’Meara

Toronto Raptors game against Chicago postponed due to COVID-19 cases

It will be the team’s first postponed game this season

After dodging COVID-19 for almost half of the NBA season, the Toronto Raptors have been dealt a big blow.

The NBA called off Toronto’s game against the visiting Chicago Bulls on Sunday night due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

In a shortened NBA season reeling from COVID-19 cases and game cancellations, it’s the first game cancellation for the Raptors.

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 Sunday.

The team’s trouble seemingly started on Friday when the Raptors were missing head coach Nick Nurse, five members of his staff and star forward Pascal Siakam. Assistant Sergio Scariolo stepped in to coach the team to a 122-111 win over the Houston Rockets.

NBA players and staff are tested twice daily. 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.

Prior to Sunday, the Raptors had been one of just four teams with no game postponements. Sunday’s game is the 30th to be postponed this season.

Makeup games will add to an already jam-packed second half of the schedule, which was released earlier this week.

The Raptors were already scheduled to play 35 games in 66 days in the season’s second half, including a gruelling four-game western road trip that sees Toronto play four games in six days at Denver, Utah and Los Angeles against the Clippers and Lakers.

The Raptors’ next game, if indeed they get the green light to go ahead, is Tuesday against Detroit. The one plus is they only play once more — Thursday at Boston — before the all-star break.

The Raptors tip off the second half of the season on March 11 against the visiting Atlanta Hawks.

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.

Florida added 5,539 coronavirus cases and 118 deaths on Sunday. The state has had more than 1.9 million cases since the pandemic’s arrival last March.

READ MORE: Coronavirus sidelines most Toronto Raptors coaches

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusNBA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Earl Marriott Secondary alumna Tanis Orsetti has received a $15,000 Cmolik Graduate Studies Scholarship to further her studies in the field of medicine. (File/Contributed photo)
Earl Marriott alumna selected for new $15G scholarship

Tanis Orsetti is studying the use immunotherapy in cancer treatment

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read