Celtics, Hawks lead NBA’s Christmas teams in COVID protocol cases


As Dec. 25 officially began, the NBA’s five-game Christmas Day schedule was intact despite several teams battling big COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Boston Celtics have 12 players in NBA health and safety protocols heading into their game with the Milwaukee Bucks (2:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet), while the Atlanta Hawks have nine in advance of the Christmas opener against the New York Knicks.

Boston’s C.J. Miles, Aaron Nesmith and Justin Jackson, Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando were added to protocols on Friday. Eight players in protocols are listed as out, while four are questionable.

All nine Hawks players in protocols are listed as out, including star Trae Young.

The Brooklyn Nets have seven players, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, in protocols heading into their showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. But Brooklyn, which had its last three games postponed is slated to get James Harden back.

The Dallas Mavericks also have seven players in protocols, including star Luka Doncic, entering their game against the Utah Jazz.

The other Christmas game has the Golden State Warriors tangling with the Phoenix Suns (5 p.m. ET, Sportsnet). Phoenix has no players in protocols, while Golden State has three — including Canadian Andrew Wiggins.

The NBA has postponed nine games this season.

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