Bill de Blasio said "tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick" as the New York City mayor criticised the Brooklyn Nets amid the coronavirus pandemic.

De Blasio took to social media after the Nets announced four players tested positive for COVID-19, including injured superstar Kevin Durant.

Durant's positive test comes after Utah Jazz pair Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell contracted the virus, which continues to disrupt sport around the globe, with the NBA on hiatus.

De Blasio questioned the Nets as the world struggles to contain coronavirus, with at least 7,900 deaths.

"We wish them [Nets] a speedy recovery," De Blasio wrote in a tweet.

"But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested.

"Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick."

In response to testing criticism, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass told ESPN: "Public health authorities and team doctors have been concerned that, given NBA players' direct contact with each other and close interactions with the general public, in addition to their frequent travel, they could accelerate the spread of the virus.

"Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested and five additional players tested positive.

"Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their test results public, they have drawn attention to the critical need for young people to follow CDC recommendations in order to protect others, particularly those with underlying health conditions and the elderly."

Kevin Durant has confirmed he is one of the Brooklyn Nets players to have tested positive for coronavirus.

On Tuesday the Nets said four unnamed players had COVID-19 and one was displaying symptoms.

Ten-time NBA All-Star Durant confirmed he had the virus, telling The Athletic's Shams Charania: "Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We're going to get through this."

The 31-year-old is yet to play for the Nets since joining ahead of this season because of an Achilles injury he sustained in last year's NBA Finals when he was with the Golden State Warriors.

Durant won two NBA titles with the Warriors, has been named Finals MVP twice and was the league's MVP in 2014.

Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for coronavirus and one is showing symptoms, the NBA team announced on Tuesday.

The Nets said each player was in isolation and anybody who may have made contact with any of the quartet was being notified.

The names of the players were not released.

In a statement released to media, the Nets said: "Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Of the four, one player is exhibiting symptoms while three are asymptomatic. All four players are presently isolated and under the care of team physicians.

"The organisation is currently notifying anyone who has had known contact with the players, including recent opponents, and is working closely with state and local health authorities on reporting.

"All players and members of the Nets travel party are being asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health and maintain constant communication with team medical staff.  The health of our players and staff is of the highest priority to the organisation and the team is doing everything within its power to ensure that those affected receive the best care possible.

"As always, we appreciate the support of our fans, partners and surrounding community, and we wish all those who are battling this virus a speedy recovery."

The NBA is suspended, along with most sport leagues globally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nets were last in action on March 10 when they earned a 104-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

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.

Spencer Dinwiddie said the Brooklyn Nets' shock 104-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers felt "big" after he hit the tie-breaking jumper at Staples Center.

Victory over the Western Conference-leading Lakers means the Nets are on a three-game winning streak.

Two of those successes have come since the Nets parted company with coach Kenny Atkinson, who has been replaced on an interim basis by Jacque Vaughn.

The Lakers saw their four-game winning streak halted after Anthony Davis (26 points) missed a last-gasp three-point shot.

Dinwiddie said: "It feels good because [the Lakers are] a high-quality opponent on the road, for sure; for a team that is doing its best right now and continuing to find itself, obviously it's going through injuries and the coaching change as well.

"There's been a ton of up and down and obviously they're one of the two, three [best] teams in the league, championship contenders - Lakers, Clippers and Bucks - so it's big for a group that's learning and is going to try to be a champion."

Dinwiddie, who was born in Los Angeles but has been with the Nets since 2016, admitted it felt sweet to hit the game-winner against the team he once held close to his heart.

"Normally I'd be pretty measured and I'm still pretty measured," he said. "But [I was a] lifelong Lakers fan up until six years ago when I got in the NBA, so this was pretty fun, especially because I know my parents probably really enjoyed it."

Recalling his crucial score, Dinwiddie added: "Everyone did a good job of cutting off my first drive, and then the second attempt was to the left and I was able to kind of get a step and just pull it up and I was fortunate enough to hit the shot."

LeBron James had 29 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers (49-14), while Dinwiddie led the Nets with 23 points.

Vaughn, who served as assistant to Atkinson, said in the post-game news conference: "It's great motivation for our group, great confidence for our group."

The interim coach added: "I talked earlier about how important that is in this game, gives us some momentum. I think there's something to be said about momentum. And then you get guys believing in each other. My job is to instil confidence in these guys and I'll continue to do that."

Vaughn confirmed the Nets would take Kevin Durant, who is battling back from injury but not ready to play games, back to his old team the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

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.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is listed as "questionable" for the team's clash with the Brooklyn Nets.

James could miss Tuesday's NBA game against the Nets at Staples Center in Los Angeles due to a sore groin.

Lakers team-mates Anthony Davis (sore elbow) and Alex Caruso (sore hamstring) are "probable".

James posted 28 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as the Western Conference-leading Lakers downed neighbours the Los Angeles Clippers 112-103 on Sunday.

The three-time champion and four-time MVP is averaging 25.7 points, 10.6 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game this season.

Sitting atop the west with a 49-13 record, the Lakers are riding a four-game winning streak.

The Milwaukee Bucks were handed a surprise defeat in the NBA, while the Houston Rockets' losing streak continued on Sunday.

Without the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks suffered a 140-131 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Khris Middleton poured in 39 points for Milwaukee, but Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio produced huge performances for Phoenix.

Booker went 13-of-17 from the field for 36 points, while Rubio had a triple-double of 25 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.

Houston fell to a fourth consecutive loss in a surprise 126-106 defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 47 points for the Rockets.

However, Nikola Vucevic (16 points and 16 rebounds) and Aaron Gordon (19 points and 10 rebounds) had double-doubles for Orlando.

 

LeBron, Davis lift Lakers as Drummond shines

LeBron James (28 points, nine assists and seven rebounds) and Anthony Davis (30 points) saw the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Clippers 112-103.

Andre Drummond's 28 points and 17 rebounds helped the Cleveland Cavaliers past the San Antonio Spurs 132-129 after overtime.

Chris Paul finished with 28 points in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 105-104 win over the Boston Celtics.

 

Horrible Hachimura

Rui Hachimura, the ninth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, went 0-of-eight from the field in the Washington Wizards' loss to the Miami Heat.

 

Red-hot Robinson

Miami's Duncan Robinson hit at least seven three-pointers for the third straight game.

Sunday's results

Brooklyn Nets 110-107 Chicago Bulls
New Orleans Pelicans 120-107 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers 112-103 Los Angeles Clippers
Oklahoma City Thunder 105-104 Boston Celtics
Phoenix Suns 140-131 Milwaukee Bucks
Miami Heat 100-89 Washington Wizards
Indiana Pacers 112-109 Dallas Mavericks
Orlando Magic 126-106 Houston Rockets
Cleveland Cavaliers 132-129 San Antonio Spurs
New York Knicks 96-84 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 118-113 Sacramento Kings

 

Bucks at Nuggets

The Bucks (53-11) get a chance to bounce back against the Denver Nuggets (42-21) on Monday.

New interim head coach Jacque Vaughn has vowed to "truly listen" to the Brooklyn Nets' key players as he looks to work differently to former boss Kenny Atkinson.

Vaughn was named coach until the end of the season on Saturday, stepping up from his role as assistant to Atkinson, who departed after three and a half years.

General manager Sean Marks suggested "another voice" was needed in a locker room that includes high-profile 2019 signings Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Vaughn was reluctant to go into detail on the issues but explained his attentive new approach.

"Overall we met as a group," Vaughn said. "Sean addressed the group and I had a chance to quickly address the group.

"And then my point was to meet with each individual, spend time with them, hear their thoughts, basically listen. I've been able to do that throughout the course of the morning."

Irving has played just 20 games this season due to injuries, while Durant is yet to return from an Achilles rupture suffered with the Golden State Warriors in last year's NBA Finals.

Vaughn would not comment on the suggestion the team's veteran players had been unimpressed by Atkinson, but he spoke of a "great conversation" with Irving.

"I don't want to speak for those guys," he said, quoted in the New York Post. "What I will say is I initiated the offer of what can we do differently. I'm not sure if that was expressed to Kenny from other guys.

"What I will say is that, in today's game, you have to be able to continually reinforce your philosophy and continue to communicate with guys.

"I've always tried to put myself in a position that any player can come to me as an assistant coach. Whether that was talking about on-the-court stuff or off-the-court stuff, guys need that.

"I think it's a skill to be someone who can listen. It's a tough skill to truly listen, and I've tried to do that through my career."

Head coach Kenny Atkinson has left the Brooklyn Nets, the team announced on Saturday.

Atkinson was appointed in 2016 in his first role as a senior coach and leaves the Nets with a 118-190 record.

Brooklyn lost in the first round of the playoffs last year, having failed to make the postseason in the prior two seasons, and subsequently brought in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Durant is yet to feature due to an Achilles rupture, however, and injuries have restricted Irving to just 20 games, with the Nets 28-34 and seventh in the Eastern Conference.

The team revealed Atkinson's departure had been "mutually agreed", with Jacque Vaughn stepping up as coach for the remainder of the season.

General manager Sean Marks said in a statement: "After discussions with Kenny about the progress of the season, we mutually agreed that a coaching change would be in the best interest of the team.

"This was an extremely difficult decision, however the organisation believes it is one that is necessary at this time.

"Kenny was instrumental in developing our players and building the identity and culture we have become known for over these past four seasons.

"The foundation he helped put into place here is one that we will continue to build on in the coming seasons."

Vaughn had been Atkinson's assistant, having previously had a 12-year NBA playing career - including two seasons with the Nets - and then coached the Orlando Magic.

LeBron James upstaged Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Los Angeles Lakers secured their playoff berth with victory over the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks.

James led the Lakers to a 113-103 victory at home to Antetokounmpo and the visiting Bucks in Los Angeles on Friday.

Lakers superstar James won his battle with reigning MVP Antetokounmpo, posting 37 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Western Conference leaders.

Anthony Davis added 30 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who improved to 48-13 following the blockbuster showdown.

Antetokounmpo's 32 points and 11 rebounds were not enough as the high-flying Bucks fell to 53-10 for the season.

 

Baynes makes history

Aron Baynes had a game to remember. The Australian tallied a career-high 37 points, 16 rebounds and made nine three-pointers as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 127-117. He joined James Harden as the only players in NBA history with 30-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and eight or more three-pointers in a game.

Kristaps Porzingis recorded his fifth straight game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds after putting up 26 and 11 in the Dallas Mavericks' 121-96 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Duncan Robinson made history in the Miami Heat's 110-104 loss away to the New Orleans Pelicans. Robinson finished with 24 points following eight three-pointers. It took Robinson's three-point tally to 233 this season – a single-season record by an undrafted player.

Bradley Beal's 35-point performance extended his streak of 25-plus points to 21 consecutive games. It tied LeBron James for the second-longest run by an Eastern Conference player since the 2000-01 season. The Washington Wizards won 118-112 against the Atlanta Hawks.

 

Bradley struggles

Usually a handy contributor for the Lakers, Avery Bradley failed to make much of an impact despite his team's victory over the Bucks. The point guard played 31 minutes and failed to make any of his shots from the field (0 of five) or three-point range (0 of three). His two points came from the free-throw line.

The Chicago Bulls went down 108-102 to the Indiana Pacers and Lauri Markkanen headlined his team's woes. The 22-year-old had just three points, going one of 10 from the field and missing all five of his shots from beyond the arc.

 

LeBron slams it down!

James was an immovable force for the Lakers against the Bucks, who were unable to prevent this dunk.

 

Friday's results

Washington Wizards 118-112 Atlanta Hawks
Brooklyn Nets 139-120 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 126-103 New York Knicks
Utah Jazz 99-94 Boston Celtics
Indiana Pacers 108-102 Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic 132-118 Minnesota Timberwolves
New Orleans Pelicans 110-104 Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks 121-96 Memphis Grizzlies
Phoenix Suns 127-117 Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers 113-103 Milwaukee Bucks

 

76ers at Warriors

The Philadelphia 76ers (38-25) will be eyeing back-to-back road wins when they travel to the Golden State Warriors (14-49) on Saturday.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said he only wants a fit and healthy Kevin Durant for the United States at the Olympic Games.

Durant swapped the Golden State Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, but the 31-year-old superstar is yet to play this season as he continues to recover from an Achilles injury.

He tore his Achilles tendon against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals in June, but his business partner Rich Kleiman said playing at Tokyo 2020 was "definitely a possibility".

However, USA coach Popovich insisted he does not want two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP Durant to rush his comeback just for the Olympics.

"My feeling on that is that I would want Kevin to be absolutely ready to go, working out, playing five-on-five, that his organisation and he both feel like it's time to play," Popovich said.

"I wouldn't want to be any part of him being 60 per cent or 70 per cent and just starting to get in shape because of the Olympics. The Olympics are important, it's huge, but he's got a career to take care of here with the Nets.

"I would rather have him do that if he's not totally ready to play this summer."

The men's basketball at the Olympics gets underway on July 25 in Tokyo.

USA head to Japan as defending champions, having won gold at the past three Olympics.

Caris LeVert's 51-point display in the Brooklyn Nets' 129-120 overtime win against the Boston Celtics earned him lofty praise on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old scored 26 points in the fourth quarter and 11 in OT as the Nets came from behind after trailing by 17 through three quarters.

His stunning career-high haul rendered Nets coach Kenny Atkinson almost speechless by what he witnessed at TD Garden.

"It's really hard to even comment," said Atkinson, per ESPN. "I'm still trying to process it all.

"It was just play after play. He got a big deal, he obviously hit the three free throws at the end. It's just a miracle.

"It was just a classic performance. A very great performance."

Team-mate Kevin Durant, out with a ruptured Achilles, tweeted: "That 50 was beautiful, Vert. Thank you for that masterpiece."

The man himself was not even sure he would be given the chance to do his thing in the fourth quarter.

"I thought [the coach] was going to pull [me], too," LeVert said. "[But] he put me back in there, so I just made one more run at it."

And it was his nerves of steel that took the game to OT, LeVert draining three free throws to tie things up at the death.

"Never have I ever [been in that position] before," he said.

"That was very unique, but I was confident when I stepped onto the line that I was going to hit all three."

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