Thunder’s home game against Jazz postponed shortly after game was supposed to tip off

OKLAHOMA CITY —

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s home game Wednesday against the Utah Jazz has been postponed to a later date.

The decision to postpone the game came about 30 minutes after the game was supposed to tip off. Team officials have not said why the game was postponed.

The Thunder and Jazz had gone through their pregame warmups and the players had been introduced before the teams’ two coaches — Billy Donovan and Quin Snyder — met with referees for a long discussion. When the discussion ended, players and staff from both teams and the referees left the court.

Several minutes later, the announcer at Chesapeake Energy Arena alerted the fans that the game had been postponed, which drew loud boos from the crowd.

Dan Mahoney, vice president of corporate communication for the Thunder, told KOCO 5 before Wednesday’s game that he didn’t want to talk hypothetically. He said the goal at this point is to protect the health and safety of fans, staff members and players.

“We’ve worked with Chesapeake Arena. They’ve added additional staff who, each morning, are going in, thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the arena,” Mahoney said. “There’s additional hand sanitizer throughout. Restrooms are fully equipped with soap and water.”

Jazz center Rudy Gobert and point guard Emmanuel Mudiay were scratched about an hour before the game because of undisclosed illnesses.

The Golden State Warriors announced Wednesday that they will play home games without fans after San Francisco Mayor London Breed placed a ban on all events larger than 1,000 people across the city. Then, NCAA President Mark Emmert said Division I basketball tournament games will not be open to the general public because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

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