The NBA announced on Wednesday that it is suspending its season until further notice amid coronavirus fears.
Fans had filled the Chesapeake Energy Arena stands, and players took the court shortly before scheduled tip-off prior to leaving the floor to return to their locker rooms.
After a delay, the public address announcer announced that the game was postponed and asked fans to leave the arena in an orderly manner.
The extraordinary step is the latest in the United States to limit large gatherings in an effort to stifle the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The news arrives hours after the NCAA announced that its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without fans in the stands. College basketball conferences are falling in line with their championship tournaments.
Meanwhile, sports organizations and municipalities in the U.S. and around the world have either canceled, postponed or limited fan access to sporting events and social gatherings like concerts and conferences.