Jayson Tatum is the latest Celtics player forced into quarantine because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, according to a report from The Athletic. Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics will be without their leading scorer for at least the next 10 days, as Jayson Tatum has tested positive for COVID-19 according to numerous reports.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Tatum is entering quarantine as part of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Charania tweeted:

“Boston Celtics All-NBA star Jayson Tatum is expected to enter quarantine and miss 10-to-14 days due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium”

“Health and safety protocols” is the NBA’s designation for all things connected to COVID-19. Privacy rules prevent the league and the Celtics from explaining further, but the Boston Globe reported that Tatum learned about his positive test late Friday night after Boston’s 116-107 win over the Washington Wizards.

The Celtics closed their facility on Saturday and did not practice.

Tatum follows big men Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams and Grant Williams into quarantine. Those three missed Friday’s win over the Wizards.

Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye and Javonte Green are also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat with the designation of “Health and Safety Protocols.” That could leave the Celtics with only eight available players – Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, Tacko Fall, Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith, Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters and Jeff Teague.

Tatum is in the midst of his best season, averaging 26.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He ranks eighth in the NBA in scoring.

The Globe said Celtics players were tested twice Friday after Robert Williams was found to be positive for COVID-19. Tatum’s first test was negative, but his second was positive.

Boston is scheduled to play eight games over the next 14 games, including two against the Philadelphia 76ers.

76ERS: Philadelphia opened the week with the best record in the NBA, but now faces an uncertain future with a starting lineup fit for the preseason.

Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 12 assists Saturday to lead the Denver Nuggets past Philadelphia, 115-103, beating a 76ers team that had only seven available players.

“COVID created this, but the concern is not COVID now,” Sixers Coach Doc Rivers said. “The concern is injuries.”

The Sixers were missing four regular starters – All-Stars Ben Simmons (sore left knee) and Joel Embiid (back) sat because of injuries, and Seth Curry and Tobias Harris over virus concerns. Curry tested positive for the virus Thursday, and the ensuing contact tracing and COVID-19 health and safety protocols led to a slew of unavailable players.

The team met the minimum eight active players by including injured forward Mike Scott, who was not actually able to play.

Rivers said he didn’t think the game should be played.

“We’ve got be very careful in how we navigate the next week,” Rivers said.

Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia’s 2020 first-round pick out of Kentucky, scored 39 points in 44 minutes on 18-of-33 shooting in his first career start.

“I had to hunt my shot just a little more because it was needed,” Maxey said.

Danny Green was the only regular in Philly’s starting lineup, joined by backups Dakota Mathias, Dwight Howard, Isaiah Joe and Maxey. Mathias and Joe also made their first NBA starts.

The Sixers are scheduled to play Monday in Atlanta, the first of five games in seven days, and the roster may not change much. Curry will miss five more games at least. Harris and reserves Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Vincent Poirier could miss at least a week because of the protocols.

“We don’t know anything,” Rivers said. “I don’t know enough about any of this.”

SATURDAY’S GAMES

HORNETS 113, HAWKS 105: LaMelo Ball, 19, became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, and Charlotte won at home.

SUNS 125, PACERS 117: Mikal Bridges scored a career-high 34 points and Devin Booker added 25, leading Phoenix to a win at Indianapolis.

Domantas Sabonis had 28 points and matched his career high with 22 rebounds for the Pacers.

HEAT 128, WIZARDS 124: Tyler Herro scored a career-high 31 points and Jimmy Butler nearly had a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as Miami won at Washington.

The Wizards played without the NBA’s leading scorer, Bradley Beal, who was a late scratch when he was placed because of the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocol.

BUCKS 100, CAVALIERS 90: Khris Middleton scored 27 points and Milwaukee withstood the absence of two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat visiting Cleveland

Antetokounmpo sat out with back spasms after taking a hard fall one night earlier in a loss to the Utah Jazz.

“He’s very sore, very stiff,” Bucks Coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game. “There’s not much of a discussion or anything today. We are hopeful that it’s a short-term thing.”

SPURS 125, TIMBERWOLVES 122: DeMar DeRozan scored 38 points, helping visiting San Antonio win in overtime.

Karl-Anthony Towns, who missed the previous six games for the Timberwolves because of a partial dislocation of his left wrist, had 25 points and 13 rebounds in 37 minutes as Minnesota’s losing streak hit seven games.

MAVERICKS 112, MAGIC 98: Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 36 points, Trey Burke did the same with 29 and Luka Doncic had another triple-double as shorthanded Dallas won at home.

Hardaway and Burke took on expanded roles to help Dallas get over .500 for the first time this season with starters Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith and backup point guard Jalen Brunson sidelined by COVID-19 protocols.

 

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