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Suns leave for Memphis ahead of Monday game vs. Grizzlies

The Phoenix Suns took off for Memphis ahead of their game on Monday against the Grizzlies, the team announced via Twitter.

The game being played would end a postponement streak of the Suns’ last three games.

The Suns’ game on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks was postponed on Tuesday after Phoenix’s opponent on Jan. 11, the Washington Wizards, had two players test positive for COVID-19. The NBA’s health and safety protocols then had contact tracing occur through the Suns roster, thus not giving Phoenix enough eligible players until that process was complete.

As that continued, Phoenix’s matchups on Friday against the Golden State Warriors and Saturday versus the Indiana Pacers were also postponed.

On Friday, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said that six total players on the Wizards have tested positive for coronavirus. The delay in those additional positives is an example of the lag time that can occur between confirmed exposure and a test picking it up. That made part of the ordeal for the Suns waiting as long as recommended before trusting enough negative tests to resume play.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported that no Phoenix players had tested positive for the virus between returning home through late Thursday afternoon.

The last game the Suns played was on Jan. 11 against the Wizards, a 128-107 loss, their worst of the season. The team started the season on a strong 7-4 start, playing through an identity of defense and energy as its starting five continues to gel offensively.

Guard Cam Payne — who sprained his right ankle in the Jan. 8 loss to the Detroit Pistons and went on to miss the Suns’ next two games before their season was paused — did board the plane.

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