Winning start for Adams at new NBA side

New Zealand basketballer Steven Adams has made a winning start with his new NBA side the New Orleans Pelicans.

In their opening match of the new season the Pelicans beat the Toronto Raptors 113 to 99, overcoming an 11-point, third-quarter deficit.

Adams had 31 minutes of court time, grabbing eight rebounds, scoring eight points and providing three assists.

Meanwhile, the game between Adam's former club, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Houston Rockets match was postponed after three Houston players returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive for coronavirus.

Following contact tracing four other players also had to be quarantined.

The NBA also fined James Harden $US70,000 after video emerged of Harden partying maskless at an event.

The video, published by Black Sports Online, allegedly originated at a Christmas party this week at a strip club in Houston.

The league's press release stated that Harden was sanctioned for attending a private, indoor party and Harden posted a statement on Instagram denying that he was at a strip club.

"One thing after another," he wrote.

"I went to show love to my homegirl at her event (not a strip club) because she is becoming a boss and putting her people in position of success and now it's a problem.

"Everyday it's something different. No matter how many times people try to drag my name under you can't. The real always end on top."

The NBA's Covid-19 protocol prohibits players from going to bars, lounges or nightclubs and from participating in social gatherings of more than 15 people.

Harden's availability for the Rockets' season-opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder was in question, but the game wound up being postponed when Houston couldn't field the minimum eight players due to positive or inconclusive coronavirus tests as well as contact tracing.

An eight-time all-star and the league's three-time defending scoring champion, Harden has been a constant fixture in the news cycle for weeks over his stated desire to be traded to a contender.

The 31-year-old guard reported a week late to training camp and played in only two of Houston's four preseason games.