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Grizzlies-Blazers postponed after Memphis played Suns

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) drives against Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Groundhog Day is less than two weeks out. For the Phoenix Suns, the hope is that it won’t come early.

A week ago from Monday, the Washington Wizards played Phoenix and the next day had players test positive for coronavirus. Now, Phoenix’s latest opponent, the Memphis Grizzlies, saw their Wednesday game at the Portland Trail Blazers get postponed due to contact tracing on the Grizzlies’ side.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported at 2 p.m. that the Suns were still preparing and expecting to play their game Wednesday against the Houston Rockets. Suns general manager James Jones said on Burns & Gambo the Suns will play.

Memphis beat Phoenix 108-104 this past Monday. At the time, the Grizzlies were sitting center Jonas Valanciunas due to health and safety protocols.

Prior to playing the Suns, the Grizzlies faced the Minnesota Timberwolves last Wednesday and Friday before playing the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. Both the T-Wolves and 76ers have placed multiple players under health and safety protocols in the past week.

The Suns can only hope they are not again linked to any contact tracing protocols or positive cases of COVID-19 because they played a potentially infected Grizzlies team. Phoenix already has three players — Jalen Smith, Dario Saric and Damian Jones —  listed on Wednesday’s injury report for health and safety protocols as the team prepares to face the Rockets.

Additionally, backup point guard Cam Payne is listed as questionable with illness and injury as he recovers from an ankle sprain.

On Jan. 11, the Suns played a Washington team that the next day recorded multiple positive coronavirus tests. Phoenix subsequently had three games canceled due to contact tracing that left the Suns without enough players to face the Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers.

Phoenix resumed play with enough players available to face the Grizzlies on Monday.

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