London to host two Raptor games in 2011

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 11:56 AM ET

LONDON, England - The New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors will play the first-ever NBA regular season games in Europe at the O2 Arena in London, England on March 4 and 5.

"The staging of our first regular-season games in Europe is a milestone for the NBA and the ongoing development of basketball in the region," said NBA commissioner David Stern. "By bringing these two young and exciting teams to London, we are fulfilling our commitment to schedule a regular-season game in the UK prior to the 2012 Olympics -- a natural progression given the overwhelming response to the many friendlies we have played to sold-out crowds over the years."

The league has staged one preseason game in London in each season starting in 2007 as part of its NBA Europe Live series. The Nets took on the Miami Heat in 2008, while this year's game features the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The NBA was the first American professional sports league to play regular season contests outside of North America when the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns began the 1990-91 campaign with a pair of games in Tokyo.

A total of 13 regular season NBA games have been played in Japan and Mexico in the last 20 years.

08/09 11:54:34 ET


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