NEW YORK — Kyrie Irving’s absence from the Brooklyn Nets has cost him nearly $1 million.

The NBA fined the point guard $50,000 on Friday for violating its health and safety protocols, and said he could return to team activities Saturday.

The league added that he would forfeit his salary for each game he misses during a five-day quarantine period that would end Saturday if he continues to test negative for the coronavirus. He’s already missed two games, which means he has lost more than $900,000 of his $33.5 million salary.

Irving has missed the last five games while away from the Nets for personal reasons. He was seen in a video on social media during his absence at an indoor family party while not wearing a mask.

League protocols prohibit attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments.

Irving is the second player to be fined for that. The other is his new teammate, James Harden.

The Nets have not explained the reasons for Irving’s absence, leaving it to him to do when he returns. Their next game is Saturday against Orlando.

“Without a doubt, the organization’s disappointed with not having any one of our players, in this particular case Kyrie, not amongst us, not in the trenches with us and so forth,” General Manager Sean Marks said Thursday during a news conference to discuss the trade for Harden.

“So I don’t want to speculate and say why he’s out and so forth. I’ve had conversations with him and I’ll continue to have conversations and we look forward to him being back in the gym, where he will address this.”

In December, Irving was was fined $25,000 by the NBA for not speaking to the media during preseason.

POSTPONEMENTS: Three more games were postponed Friday, including one in Minnesota only a couple hours before game time, as the league’s struggle with increasing coronavirus numbers continued.

Among the revelations Friday: Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, whose mother and six other relatives have died from COVID-19, said he has tested positive. The Washington Wizards said that they have six players who are positive, and another three players out because contact tracing data suggested they could have been exposed.

“I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to take it seriously by taking all of the necessary precautions,” Towns wrote on social media.

The Timberwolves’ game with the Memphis Grizzlies was called off, as were what would have been Wizards home games Sunday and Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The current tally of postponements is 13 since the start of the season, 12 of them since Sunday.

TRAIL BLAZERS: Portland center Jusuf Nurkic fractured his right wrist Thursday night during a game against the Indiana Pacers.

Nurkic could be seen holding the wrist after swiping at the ball in the third quarter, and he fell to the floor after contact under Indiana’s basket. At a timeout he went to to the locker room and did not return.

The 7-foot-0 Bosnian was averaging 10.3 points and 7.6 rebounds heading into the game.

Nurkic missed much of the first half of last season after breaking his left leg in a game in March 2019. He returned to the team to play in the the bubble in Orlando, Florida, after the season was put on hold because of coronavirus.

“He had a long road back from his other injury,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “He had a rough start of the season, it looked like he was getting back on track. Obviously this is a big setback for him and for us.”

FRIDAY’S GAMES

BUCKS 112, MAVERICKS 109: Giannis Antetokounmpo overcame poor free-throw shooting to score 31 points, Khris Middleton hit two late 3-pointers and Milwaukee held off visiting Dallas.

The Bucks improved to 9-4, winning their fourth straight and snapping the Mavericks’ winning streak at four.

Middleton scored 25 points.

Luka Doncic had 28 points and 13 assists for Dallas.

CAVALIERS 106, KNICKS 103: Andre Drummond tied his career high with 33 points and grabbed 23 rebounds, and Cedi Osman scored 25 points in Cleveland’s victory over visiting New York.

THUNDER 127, BULLS 125: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 33 points to help Oklahoma City beat visiting Chicago in overtime.

Oklahoma City rallied from 22 points down in the second half. Zach LaVine, who led the Bulls with 35 points, could have won it in overtime, but he missed a deep, off-balance 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

JAZZ 116, HAWKS 92: Donovan Mitchell made six 3-pointers on his way to 26 points, and Utah used a 21-0 second-half run to power past visiting Atlanta.


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