The Houston Rockets are traveling to Portland with nine players — one more than the minimum required to play an NBA game — for Saturday’s road game against the Trail Blazers.
The Rockets, whose season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed due to a lack of available players, have six players missing because of a pair of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing.
Reserve wing Ben McLemore and rookie forward Kenyon Martin Jr. tested positive this week. Center DeMarcus Cousins, point guard John Wall, shooting guard Eric Gordon and two-way guard Mason Jones are listed as out due to “health and safety protocols” on the NBA’s official injury report, as they are required to quarantine after being determined close contacts.
James Harden will play against the Trail Blazers. He was ruled unavailable for the season opener — dropping the Rockets below the minimum required players limit — because of a violation of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, which prohibit players from attending social gatherings of more than 15 people.
Harden was fined $50,000 for attending a private indoor party Monday. The league’s medical staff required Harden to quarantine for four days and test negative for the coronavirus each day before being cleared to return to team activities.
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