Reports in the UK this week suggested there is growing support to void the current Premier League season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admitted the 2019-20 campaign might have to be scrubbed from the records, after Euro 2020 was moved back 12 months.

Although the likes of runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool would understandably despair at such a prospect, there are other clubs enjoying seasons to forget who might enjoy the escape clause.

With that in mind, we took a look back at the teams and individuals who might like to expunge an ignominious season or period of time from history.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED 2013-14

The seven years since Alex Ferguson's retirement have not exactly gone swimmingly for United, but that ill-fated first season remains the real low point. 

David Moyes lasted just 10 months as Ferguson's replacement as the reigning Premier League champions finished seventh in 2013-14, suffering truly humiliating defeats to top two Manchester City and Liverpool along the way. A wretched 2-0 loss at Moyes' former club Everton proved the final straw.

At least they won the Community Shield in August 2013. 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC 2017

When Novak Djokovic defeated familiar foe Andy Murray to win the 2016 French Open, the modern-day legend was in possession of all of tennis' grand slams. The question was, who can stop this man? Well, the answer was actually himself.

A round-three exit at Wimbledon followed a month later and, although he reached the US Open final that year, a barren 2017 followed. Djokovic did not go beyond the quarters at any slam that year and reached just one final at the Italian Open, which he lost. Djokovic rediscovered the winning habit in slams at Wimbledon in 2018, beginning a run of five triumphs in the past seven at tennis' big events.

DETROIT LIONS – 2008

The Lions secured an unwanted place in history when they became the first NFL team in the 16-game season era to go 0-16. They went 7-9 in 2007 and were then undefeated in preaseason, meaning few would have thought a historically bad campaign was on the cards.

Detroit started three QBs over the course of the campaign - Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky and Daunte Culpepper - all of whom struggled with form and injuries despite the presence of star receiver Calvin Johnson, but worst of all was their woeful defense, which gave up 517 points.

Team president and CEO Matt Millen was fired after four weeks, while head coach Rod Marinelli was shown the door at the end of the season and has not led a team since.

TIGER WOODS - 2014-2017

Tiger Woods' standing as one the greatest, if not the greatest, golfer of all time is in no doubt. By the end of 2013, Woods was standing again atop the world rankings after winning five times during the year, earning the prestigious PGA Tour Player of the Year award. 

It would take five years for Woods to win again as the American great endured a horrendous time with debilitating back injuries and loss of form. At one stage it looked as though he may have to retire and his world ranking had plummeted to a scarcely credible 1,199th in December 2017. But just a year ago Woods was back in major-winning form as, at the age of 43, he became Masters champion for a fifth time.

BARCELONA 2002-03

Years of drift since the 1999 LaLiga title came to a head in 2002-03, as Barcelona endured a miserable season that saw Louis van Gaal sacked as coach and led to the departure of president Joan Gaspart. 

Barca ended up sixth in the league – their worst finish in 15 years – as the Real Madrid Galacticos ruled. They also exited the Copa del Rey in the first round and lost in the Champions League quarter-finals. 

After that season, in came Joan Laporta as president, Frank Rijkaard as head coach, and a certain Brazilian called Ronaldinho. And things got a bit better. 

ENGLAND – 2013-14 ASHES

England made it three Ashes victories in a row with a 3-0 home triumph in 2013 – the first time they had enjoyed such a run of success against old enemies Australia since 1977-1981. However, a rejig of the international cricketing schedule meant a swift return Down Under. The Mitchell Johnson-inspired hosts exacted brutal vengeance on their way to a 5-0 whitewash as a great England team fell to pieces.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann retired mid-series and Kevin Pietersen's tempestuous exit from the international stage was set in motion, while Andy Flower – the head coach he despised – stepped down. Of the XI that started the concluding 281-run loss in Sydney, Pietersen, Michael Carberry and debutants Scott Borthwick and Boyd Rankin would never play red ball cricket for England again.

REAL MADRID 2008-09

In Spanish football's great rivalry, Real Madrid or Barcelona doing well is only half the deal. Success is truly sweet if the other half of El Clasico's enduring grudge are having a tough time. Madrid won LaLiga in 2007-08, with Barca a distant fourth as the Rijkaard-Ronaldinho era disintegrated under the weight of its own excess.

However, the tables flipped spectacularly next time around – Barca stormed to an unprecedented treble under rookie coach Pep Guardiola, Lionel Messi leaped from exceptional talent to generational superstar as Madrid were walloped 6-2 by their sworn foes at the Santiago Bernabeu and a dynasty was born.

Madrid finished a distant second, were thrashed 5-0 on aggregate by Liverpool in the Champions League last-16 and coach Juande Ramos followed predecessor Bernd Schuster out of the exit door.

PAULA RADCLIFFE – 2004 OLYMPICS

After setting a new world record in London in 2003 and having won the 2004 race in New York, Radcliffe was favourite for marathon gold at the 2004 Olympics. 

However, after struggling badly to continue, Radcliffe withdrew 23 miles in and was taken for a medical check-up. She later competed in the 10,000 metres but again retired.  In a tearful appearance on British TV, Radcliffe refused to blame the heat and humidity in Athens and admitted she was "desperately trying to find a reason for what happened". 

A year later, she was back winning and breaking the world record at the London marathon - despite a brief toilet break by the side of the road - before taking gold at the World Championships in Helsinki.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2019-2020

After a fifth straight NBA Finals appearance in 2019, things went rapidly downhill for the Golden State Warriors. All-Star duo Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins left in free agency, while 'Splash Brothers' Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have been out injured – the latter is yet to play this season. 

The Warriors sit bottom of the Western Conference and have the worst overall record in the NBA at 15-50. An improved chance of getting the first pick in the 2020 draft is their only solace.

MANNY PACQUIAO 2012

After losing to Erik Morales in 2005, Manny Pacquiao went on sensational 15-fight winning streak that established him as an unprecedented seven-division world champion. The Morales loss was twice avenged via stoppage, with the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto similarly dispatched. A mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr awaited, only for the wheels to fall off in 2012.

Timothy Bradley halted Pacquiao's streak when he was – somewhat farcically – awarded a split-decision verdict over the Filipino great. Juan Manuel Marquez knew all about scorecard controversy from his previous three meetings with Pacquiao and duly took them out of the equation, chillingly leaving his rival face down and motionless on the Las Vegas canvas that December. The Mayweather bout had to wait until 2015, but that is one of only two losses suffered since by Pacquiao, who reigns as WBA welterweight champion at 41.

CHELSEA 2015-16

Chelsea won the Premier League title in 2014-15 and 2016-17. What came in between was nothing short of a complete shambles. Jose Mourinho had returned for a second spell in charge and collected a third winners' medal in England's top flight but the Portuguese's famously abrasive tendencies then appeared to wear his players down at an alarming rate.

Beginning with the 2-2 draw against Swansea City that ignited Mourinho's sapping spat with club doctor Eva Carneiro, Chelsea won only one of their opening five Premier League fixtures. That form was far from a blip and they were 16th when Mourinho was sacked in the wake of a 2-1 December loss to would-be champions Leicester City. Caretaker boss Guus Hiddink restored a modicum of respectability with a 10th-place finish before Antonio Conte arrived and the Stamford Bridge faithful were soon wondering if it had all just been a bad dream.

SERENA WILLIAMS 2006

Williams started the year by losing her Australian Open crown with a third-round exit to Daniele Hantuchova, before injuries forced her to miss tournaments in Tokyo and Dubai. Come April, she had dropped out of the WTA top 100 for the first time since November 1997, and it came as little surprise that she competed at neither the French Open nor Wimbledon. 

After a fourth-round exit at the US Open, Williams ended a title-less year 95th in the world. It meant she returned to the Australian Open in January 2007 as an unseeded player. She won it. 

It is 48 years to the day since the Los Angeles Lakers set a new NBA benchmark with 69 regular-season wins.

Bill Sharman's Lakers routed the Seattle Supersonics to end the year with a 69-13 record and the best win percentage (.841) posted by a team.

The stunning Los Angeles season bettered the Philadelphia 76ers' mark from five years earlier, although the Chicago Bulls and then the Golden State Warriors have since set the standard.

The Warriors' record will stand for at least another year, too, with the 53-12 Milwaukee Bucks faltering following Giannis Antetokounmpo's injury.

With the campaign now paused amid the coronavirus pandemic, we take a look at the teams and seasons that led the way.
 

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: 1966-67 - 68-13 (.840)

Since the Washington Capitols ended the first 60-game NBA season with a 49-11 record in 1946-47, no team had been able to post a regular-season win percentage of .800 or above - until the Sixers.

Philadelphia dominated from start to finish in 1966-67, led by MVP Wilt Chamberlain. The campaign was the first and only to include 81 games, adding another to make the existing 82-game schedule the following year, and the Sixers finished eight games clear of a strong Boston Celtics outfit in the East.

Chamberlain was the only Philly player to make the All-NBA First Team, but the Sixers' depth made them one of the greats, and they ended the year as champions with an NBA Finals success against the San Francisco Warriors.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS: 1971-72 - 69-13 (.841)

With an extra game to play with, it did not take the Lakers too long to edge past the Sixers. And Chamberlain was again the star.

After leaving the Sixers in 1968, Chamberlain was outstanding once again in his penultimate season in the league, while Jerry West - whose silhouette graced a new NBA logo that remains to this day - also impressed.

Chamberlain refused to compare LA to his Philadelphia team after breaking the record, but they ultimately matched the Sixers by claiming the championship, with the veteran the Finals MVP against the New York Knicks.

CHICAGO BULLS: 1995-96 - 72-10 (.878)

It took 24 years and arguably the greatest player in the history of the sport to break the Lakers' record. Michael Jordan lifted the Bulls to the first ever 70-win season in 1995-96.

Playing his first full season back following his initial retirement, there was still no stopping Jordan as he kickstarted the Bulls' second run of three straight championships.

The guard was the MVP, the league's leading scorer and then the Finals MVP, while Chicago finished 12 games clear of the Orlando Magic.

They only lost three more games in the playoffs, too, sweeping the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals before beating the Seattle Supersonics to take the title.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: 2015-16 - 73-9 (.890)

Only two teams have ever broken the 70-win barrier, but the second, the Warriors, remarkably could not follow up their regular-season success with the title.

Golden State won three championships over a four-year stretch but could not get the job done against LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals in 2016.

The Warriors' stunning regular-season efforts overshadowed an impressive 67-win San Antonio Spurs campaign, with Stephen Curry the MVP and top scorer, but the NBA's outstanding team went down to the Cavs in Game Seven.

United States assistant Steve Kerr said he and head coach Gregg Popovich are still planning for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 continues to disrupt sport across the globe as countries impose strict travel conditions amid the emergency, however, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains adamant Tokyo 2020 will go ahead as planned in July.

The NBA has suspended the season indefinitely after a number of players tested positive for coronavirus.

Golden State Warriors head coach Kerr said Team USA staff are planning as if the Olympic Games will go ahead amid the uncertainty.

"Pop and I have spoken a couple of times over the last week or so," Kerr told reporters on Tuesday. "Everything's just up in the air.

"There's no sense of whether things are going to be delayed or anything. We're all kind of sitting here wondering what's going to happen and so is the rest of the world.

"We're just going to plan as if this is going to happen and we're going to try and put together a roster and that's all we can do."

Utah Jazz pair Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were the first NBA players to contract COVID-19, while Kevin Durant joined the list on Tuesday.

Durant confirmed he is one of four Brooklyn Nets players to test positive for coronavirus, with the NBA on hiatus.

The Milwaukee Bucks were leading the league before it was postponed, with LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers topping the Western Conference.

"To be honest I feel really sorry for the teams [that] are really in the thick of the race and the hunt," Kerr said. "The teams that have a chance to make a run.

"We're not in that position this year and so being in limbo, even though it's no fun, for us we're just sort of waiting to hear what the league has to say and we'll follow instructions, but it must be incredibly frustrating for all those teams that have a shot this year and they're wondering if things are even got to start back up again."

Stephen Curry has joined the growing list of prominent sports stars encouraging people to practice social distancing in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The NBA suspended the league on Wednesday as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the global sporting calendar.

Latest figures show 3,802 confirmed cases in the United States, with 69 having died from the virus.

Golden State Warriors star Curry posted a video message on Twitter imploring everyone to do their bit to avoid mass gatherings where possible.

"What's up everybody? I know this time is pretty hectic and crazy and there's a lot of uncertainty out there," he said. 

"I just wanna take the time to encourage everyone to practice social distancing to the best of their abilities. I know people are in a lot of different situations and there are different demands from person to person. 

"But as best we can [let's] practice social distancing so we can get rid of the spread of this virus as soon as possible, flatten the curve.

"Make sure you stay six feet away from people, wash your hands when you go inside, outside as much as you can with water and soap and we can all come together collectively to stop the spread of this virus. 

"Everybody [can] do their part. I'm doing mine, I'm at home, me and my family are enjoying family time. 

"But as best you can social distance yourself and we can flatten the curve and get rid of this virus as soon as possible."

Stephen Curry is clearly missing playing as the season remains suspended.

The NBA suspended its season on Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the players are obviously missing being in action if responses to a question from Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie are anything to go by.

Dinwiddie wrote on Twitter: "Any @NBA players going to @YouTube to watch their own highlights due to withdrawals?"

Golden State Warriors star Curry replied: "At least twice a day."

Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell, who tested positive for coronavirus, wrote: "From rookie year to this year."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on Thursday he expected the NBA hiatus to last at least a month.

Coronavirus continued to make its presence felt across worldwide elite sport on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic and major American sports franchises were taking appropriate measures as European football was forced to react once more.

Sports governing bodies have also had their say, with events calendars becoming increasingly fluid.

Here are some of the latest events to be impacted.

In the United States the Golden State Warriors have confirmed their game against Brooklyn Nets on Thursday will be played behind closed doors, making them the first NBA team to make such a move following consultation with the City and County of San Francisco.

This directive also means the San Francisco Giants is working with Major League Baseball to make alternative arrangements after the planned March 24 exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park was cancelled.

Seattle Mariners are hoping to relocate their opening games of the MLB regular season after Washington governor Jay Inslee announced large group events in the state would be banned throughout March.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will stage its flagship March Madness basketball tournament "with only essential staff and limited family attendance".

Coronavirus cases in Spain have spiked, and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has postponed the Copa del Rey final between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao.

The showpiece fixture was due to take place in Seville on April, with reports suggesting May 30 has been pencilled as a new date.

Barcelona have cancelled training sessions at their La Masia headquarters for the next 15 days, while RFEF has recommended football at all levels beneath the top two professional leagues is called off for two weeks.

In Germany, Eintracht Frankfurt announced Thursday's Europa League game against Basel will take place behind closed doors, while this weekend's derby between Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin will also take place without supporters.

Mainz's clash with Cologne is another of the forthcoming Bundesliga games where fans have been told to stay away.

The Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal became the first football match in England to be postponed as a coronavirus precaution and City are offering refunds on tickets to future fixtures up to and including the day of the game, acknowledging unease among supporters over taking part in large gatherings at this time.

Pep Guardiola's side have matches at home to Burnley and Real Madrid over the coming week.

CONMEBOL, the governing body for football in South America announced Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana matches held in Paraguay will take place behind closed doors, in line with local government advice.

Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup, will stage all remaining matches in its domestic football season without supporters, although CAF has decided to maintain its competition schedule unless the WHO declares a country in Africa to be high risk.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has postponed the Fed Cup Finals in Budapest after Hungary's government prohibited public indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

On their tour of Sri Lanka, the England cricket team have been told to avoid casual interaction with fans, such as selfies and autographs.

The Golden State Warriors have confirmed their NBA game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday shall be played behind closed doors.

Amid fears over the spread of coronavirus, a plethora of sporting events across the globe have been either postponed or cancelled, while matches are also being played without fans present.

That will be the case for the clash between the Warriors and the Nets at Chase Center, with the team confirming there will be no fans in attendance.

The Warriors' decision follows on from the City and County of San Francisco announcing on Wednesday that any gatherings of 1,000 people or more would be prohibited for two weeks in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus.

"Due to escalating concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and in consultation with the City and County of San Francisco, tomorrow night's game vs. the Nets at Chase Center will be played without fans," a statement from the Warriors read. 

Earlier this week, the Indian Wells tennis tournament – one of the most prestigious events on the ATP and WTA tours – due to be held this week in California, was postponed due to coronavirus.

Stephen Curry is due to make his comeback from flu when the Golden State Warriors host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, coach Steve Kerr has confirmed.

Two-time MVP Curry only returned from a broken hand that had kept him out for four months when he suited up against the Toronto Raptors last week.

However, the Warriors then revealed their star guard was suffering from flu and he has missed back-to-back games against the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers as a result.

The Warriors, who have toiled to an NBA-worst 15-50 record this season, host the Nets at Chase Center on Thursday and Kerr anticipates Curry will be involved.

"We expect him to play Thursday," Kerr said in quotes published on ESPN.

"He wanted to play [against the Clippers] but we wouldn't let him, just given he hadn't done anything the last three days.

"This is a good day for him to get a good workout and get some rest tonight and then work out again tomorrow [Wednesday].

"Hopefully everything goes smoothly and he'll play Thursday night - that's the plan."

Curry's absence is not the only reason for the Warriors' struggles this term.

Five-time All-Star Klay Thompson has missed the entire campaign with a knee injury while Draymond Green, another key member of their three title-winning teams in recent years, sat out a sixth game on Tuesday with a knee injury himself.

"Draymond is doing well," Kerr said.

"Because he missed over a week I think he lost some conditioning and strength in the knee, and so we are taking a cautious approach there too.

"He's doing a lot better and he's gotten in a couple of good workouts the last few days. He's getting closer for sure."

The Warriors fell to a 131-107 loss to the Clippers on Tuesday.

The Brooklyn Nets held on to beat LeBron James and the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers 104-102 in the NBA.

Spencer Dinwiddie (23 points) hit the tie-breaking jumper with 28.3 seconds remaining as the Nets upstaged the streaking Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The Lakers' four-game winning streak came to an end after Anthony Davis (26 points) missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

James had 29 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers (49-14), who were unable to close the gap on the slumping Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) for the league's best record.

The Los Angeles Clippers bounced back from Sunday's loss to the Lakers by routing the Golden State Warriors 131-107 away from home.

Kawhi Leonard posted 23 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter, along with the rest of the Clippers' starters.

 

Tatum stars as Celtics secure playoff berth

Jayson Tatum put up 30 points for the Boston Celtics, who reached the postseason for the sixth consecutive year. Gordon Hayward added 27 points and 10 rebounds in the 114-111 triumph at the Indiana Pacers.

James Harden scored 37 points and Russell Westbrook finished with 27 as the Houston Rockets topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-111, snapping a four-game skid.

Luka Doncic registered 38 points, but it was not enough for the Dallas Mavericks, who lost 119-109 at the San Antonio Spurs.

The Washington Wizards benefited from another big Bradley Beal performance in their 122-115 victory over the New York Knicks. Beal had 40 points, surpassing 25-plus points for the 22nd time in 23 games.

All the Portland Trail Blazers' starters posted double-digit points in a 121-105 win against the Phoenix Suns – Damian Lillard (25), CJ McCollum (22), Trevor Ariza (22), Carmelo Anthony (21) and Hassan Whiteside (16, 14 rebounds).

 

Mulder headlines Warriors woes

With Stephen Curry sidelined by the flu, Mychal Mulder played guard and the 25-year-old struggled for the Warriors. Mulder was one-of-nine from the field and 0 of seven from three-point range for three points in 26 minutes.

Aron Baynes made history on Friday. The Australian joined Harden as the only players in NBA history with 30-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and eight or more three-pointers in a game following his career-high 37 points, 16 rebounds and nine three-pointers for the Suns. However, Baynes was just three-of-14 from the field and one-of-seven from beyond the arc for just seven points against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday. He tallied two rebounds in 34 minutes.

 

Russell takes flight

Westbrook hit the runway and soared to the rim for the slam.

 

Tuesday's results

Boston Celtics 114-111 Indiana Pacers
Washington Wizards 122-115 New York Knicks
Chicago Bulls 108-103 Cleveland Cavaliers
Houston Rockets 117-111 Minnesota Timberwolves
Orlando Magic 120-115 Memphis Grizzlies
San Antonio Spurs 119-109 Dallas Mavericks
Portland Trail Blazers 121-105 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers 131-107 Golden State Warriors
Brooklyn Nets 104-102 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Pistons at 76ers

After an embarrassing loss away to the lowly Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers (38-26) are back on home court against the Detroit Pistons (20-45) on Wednesday. The 76ers are 28-2 in Philadelphia, compared to 10-24 on the road.

The Houston Rockets' losing streak continued in the NBA, while the Golden State Warriors claimed a win on Saturday.

The Rockets slumped to a third straight loss with a 108-99 defeat to the Charlotte Hornets.

James Harden had a triple-double of 30 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, but added 10 turnovers as Russell Westbrook missed the clash.

All five of the Hornets' starters managed double-digits in points, led by Terry Rozier's 24.

Even with Stephen Curry missing due to the flu, the Warriors upset the Philadelphia 76ers 118-114.

Damion Lee's 24 points helped the Warriors to just their 15th win of the season.

 

Wonderful Valanciunas, Love leads Cavs

Jonas Valanciunas' double-double of 27 points and 17 rebounds saw the Memphis Grizzlies past the Atlanta Hawks 118-101.

Kevin Love's 27 points helped the Cleveland Cavaliers upset the Denver Nuggets 104-102.

The Utah Jazz were too good for the Detroit Pistons 111-105 thanks to a 32-point haul from Bojan Bogdanovic.

Rockets struggle

With Westbrook sidelined, Houston needed a greater contribution from their starters. But three of them – Danuel House Jr., P.J. Tucker and Ben McLemore – went a combined three-of-12 from the field.

 

Morant magic

Ja Morant (24 points) helped the Grizzlies to their win.

Saturday's results

Charlotte Hornets 108-99 Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz 111-105 Detroit Pistons
Cleveland Cavaliers 104-102 Denver Nuggets
Memphis Grizzlies 118-101 Atlanta Hawks
Golden State Warriors 118-114 Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings 123-111 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Lakers at Clippers

The Staples Center will host another blockbuster on Sunday. After beating the Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers (48-13) face the Clippers (43-19).

Stephen Curry will miss the Golden State Warriors' clash against the Philadelphia 76ers due to the flu, with the team saying the star was showing no signs of the coronavirus.

Curry made his return from a hand injury on Thursday, but the guard is sidelined again.

The Warriors confirmed on Saturday that the two-time MVP was battling the flu and not showing signs of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,500 people worldwide.

"This morning Stephen Curry was diagnosed with influenza A by a positive viral testing," Warriors team physician Dr Robert Nied said in a statement on Saturday.

"We have identified his probable source contact who is not part of basketball operations.

"He has no specific risk for COVID-19. He has the seasonal flu. We have begun treatment for Stephen and instituted our team protocol for influenza exposure."

Stephen Curry's comeback on Thursday night was a welcome sight for LeBron James, who told the Golden State Warriors guard "the game missed you".

Curry had been out since October with a broken hand but he played 27 minutes against the Toronto Raptors at Chase Center, draining three three-pointers in a 23-point display.

The Warriors, whose season has been ruined by the injuries to Curry and Klay Thompson, lost 121-113 but head coach Steve Kerr said his team were "through the woods" now their two-time MVP was fit again.

Golden State's NBA-worst 14-49 record means they are not a factor in the Western Conference, with the Los Angeles Lakers leading the way ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets.

Yet Lakers star James was still pleased to see Curry back on the hardwood.

"Happy to see @StephenCurry30 back out there again!" James wrote on Twitter.

"Nothing like being in your sanctuary! The game missed you."

Stephen Curry's sparkling return to action has Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr hoping his team's struggles are at an end.

Curry played his first game since October against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, having been sidelined with a broken left hand.

In his absence, the Warriors have slumped to the league's worst record and are now 14-49 after the Raptors prevailed 121-113 at Chase Center.

However, Curry offered a dazzling reminder of his considerable qualities with 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds during 27 minutes on the court.

"To me, it feels like it's on again," Kerr, whose men will miss out on the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12, told reporters.

"We're now through the woods, as I said before the game. We can start looking ahead and using these games to prepare ourselves for trying to reach a higher level of play."

Kerr understandably decided to proceed cautiously with the amount of minutes granted to Curry but pledged to step up his star point guard's workload over the coming weeks.

"I thought he looked great, moved well," he said. "It was not the ideal set of circumstances for him - we were taking him in and out of the lineup to keep his minutes down and to keep his stints shorter. He's not used to that.

"But he obviously gave us a huge lift, and he changes the whole game when he's out there.

"Our fans could see it, they could feel it. We're a different team, obviously, when he's on the court.

"So, great to have him back, and it'll be fun the next week or so to continue to build up his minutes and get him back into the groove."

The Warriors' problems this season have extended far beyond being without Curry for an extended period, with Klay Thompson missing all of 2019-20 due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Kerr currently has Draymond Green and Kevon Looney nursing respective knee and hip complaints.

Although an MRI scan on Green has come back clear, the Warriors coach conceded Looney's status is a cause of consternation.

"That's a concern and we'll have an update [on Friday]," he added. "He had some momentum and he was playing really well for us.

"So this is a bump in the road, hopefully, but we'll have an update when he has a chance to be evaluated by our doctors."

Stephen Curry said he was back in his "happy place" as he made up for lost time on his long-awaited Golden State Warriors return in a defeat to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday.

The two-time NBA MVP had been sidelined since suffering a broken left hand during a clash with the Phoenix Suns last October.

Curry scored 23 points in his first match for just over four months but was unable to prevent the Warriors from slumping to a 121-113 loss against the defending champions at Chase Center.

The superstar guard was just pleased to be back on court following such a lengthy absence in a season to forget for injury-hit Golden State.

Asked how he coped with being out for so long, Curry replied: "You kind of deal with the new reality as it comes.

"Coming into the season, obviously four games in I was excited about trying to help lead the team where we wanted to go, chase the playoffs and all that but it was taken away.

"You've got to be productive in all aspects while you are out, with the rehab and the opportunity to appreciate life outside of basketball as well. I'm happy to be back in my happy place, for sure, but a lot of good happened over these last four months."

Curry said he felt comfortable as he hit the ground running, having not known quite what to expect in his comeback.

"It felt great, it was a lot of energy, anticipation for tonight and just getting back out there on the floor and seeing what was going to happen." said the three-time NBA champion.

"It was kind of a cool moment, just the excitement and energy in the building and I didn't really know what to expect, how to handle the minute restriction and all that, I just tried to get my first shot and just get comfortable out there.

"But throughout the 27 minutes I felt good, so I'm excited to be back out there.

"We had some good moments, obviously Toronto is a championship team that has a lot of chemistry and they know how to win, so for us it was a good step in the right direction. Everybody just competing and we can build off of this."

Stephen Curry returned from injury in the Golden State Warriors' loss to the Toronto Raptors, while Kawhi Leonard again led the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Curry played his first game since October, returning from a hand injury in the Warriors' 121-113 loss to the Raptors.

The two-time NBA MVP finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 27 minutes.

But the Warriors were beaten again in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals, which were also won by the Raptors, as Normal Powell poured in 37 points and Toronto clinched a playoff spot.

Leonard's 25 points helped the Clippers extend their winning streak to six by beating the Houston Rockets 120-105.

The Rockets went seven-of-42 from three-point range, with James Harden (16 points) missing all eight of his attempts.

 

Jokic leads the way as Harris lifts 76ers

Nikola Jokic's 14 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists guided the Denver Nuggets past the Charlotte Hornets 114-112.

Tobias Harris contributed a double-double of 28 points and 14 rebounds in the Philadelphia 76ers' 125-108 win over the Sacramento Kings.

 

Rockets off target

Harden and Russell Westbrook (29 points and 15 rebounds) combined to go 15-of-44 from the field in Houston's loss.

 

Welcome back, Stephen

Curry hit an amazing long-range three during the second quarter against the Raptors.

Thursday's results

Denver Nuggets 114-112 Charlotte Hornets
Los Angeles Clippers 120-105 Houston Rockets
Philadelphia 76ers 125-108 Sacramento Kings
Toronto Raptors 121-113 Golden State Warriors

 

Bucks at Lakers

The Staples Center plays host to a blockbuster on Friday. The Los Angeles Lakers (47-13) and Milwaukee Bucks (53-9) have the best records in the NBA heading into the clash.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.