SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz won’t see Kevin Porter Jr. when they face the Houston Rockets tonight. Porter Jr. has been placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 tracing protocol shortly after his involvement in an incident at a Miami club with teammate Sterling Brown.
The Rockets played back-to-back games in Miami on Sunday and Monday with a handful of players on the roster opting to shuttle to a nightclub on Sunday evening.
After leaving the club, Brown mistakenly got into a stranger’s van where he was physically assaulted according to The Athletic.
Brown suffered several facial injuries including a blow to the head with a bottle while being assaulted. The guard was taken to the hospital and released on Monday after undergoing medical care. During the assault, Brown’s Rockets teammate Porter Jr. stepped in to protect the guard from his attackers.
Now, Porter Jr. will be unable to join the team until he clears protocol this weekend.
“Kevin Porter Jr. is under the NBA COVID protocols,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said, “so he won’t be available tonight.”
Porter Jr. had one of his best games in a Rockets uniform against the Jazz when the two teams met in mid-March. The second-year guard had a season-high 27 points and eight assists in Houston’s 114-99 loss at Utah.
Brown traveled back to Houston after the assault.
The incident comes as the NBA has begun to loosen its restrictions for players amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Players who are two weeks past their final COVID-19 vaccination dose or teams that have met the 85 percent vaccinated threshold are free to dine outdoors at restaurants on the road and have increased access to family and friends.
However, NBA players are prohibited from gathering at clubs, bars, and lounges.
The Jazz and Rockets tip-off at 6 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.