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NBA teams to play in Beijing

NBA will be back in China again after the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets confirmed yesterday that they would play a preseason match in Beijing on October 11.

The teams will meet at the Wukesong Indoor Stadium, which was the venue for basketball matches during the Beijing Olympics.

NBA China boss Tim Chen said the game would also mark the reopening of the renovated stadium.

NBA stars Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups of the Nuggets and the Pacers' Danny Granger is expected to be in the lineup, the NBA said. Anthony will get a chance to shine once again on the court where he won Olympic gold with the United States last August.

It will be the eighth preseason game for the NBA in its 2009 season. It is also the third time that Beijing will host a NBA pre-season game.

It hosted the first one in 2004 and then again in 2008.

"We are glad that the NBA preseason game is coming to Beijing again," said Xin Lancheng of the Chinese Basketball Association. "Beijing's basketball fans can now watch an NBA game right on their doorstep."

Sun Kanglin, director of Beijing Sports Bureau, said hosting the game enhances China's status as an international sports center.

He added that it was encouraging that "an Olympic venue was being used for the event."

In 2004, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to stage games in China. The Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings played in Shanghai and Beijing.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors played last year.


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