NBA announce global pre-season schedule

The NBA is coming to Manchester.

KD and Westbrook will bring the Thunder to Manchester

KD and Westbrook will bring the Thunder to Manchester

The NBA has announced a global 8-game pre-season schedule as it heads to Brazil and the Philippines for the first time whilst Manchester and Bilbao get their first taste of NBA action.

The tour begins in Istanbul as OKC Thunder take on Fenerbache Ulker on the 5th October and Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma then take on the Philadelphia 76ers three days later in Manchester. In recent years, Barcelona and Madrid have played host to the NBA in pre-season and this year it will be the turn of Bilbao as local side Uxue Bilbao also take on the Sixers before Philadelphia play in the UK.

Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers have a two-game series starting in Manila as the NBA goes to the Philippines for the first time since 1978 before they meet again three days later in Taiwan at the Taipei Arena. Brazil will make it’s NBA hosting debut when Chicago Bulls take on the Washington Wizards, featuring native Nene, in Rio de Janeiro.

The pre-season tour concludes in China when the LA Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors in Beijing and Shanghai in the space of three days. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers played in Europe in 2010 when they were defeated by the then-European champions FC Barcelona.

Bilbao Uxue will become the 6th Spanish team to take on an NBA side with FC Barcelona the most recent and most successful with three victories from seven meetings. Fenerbache Ulker have a 100% record against NBA teams after beating the Boston Celtics 97-91 in their only game in 2012.

Full Schedule:

05/10/13- OKC Thunder v Fenerbache UlkerIstanbul

06/10/13- Philadelphia 76ers v Bilbao Uxue- Bilbao

08/10/13- OKC Thunder v Philadelphia 76ers- Manchester

10/10/13- Houston Rockets v Indiana Pacers- Manila

12/10/13- Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards- Rio de Janeiro

13/10/13- Houston Rockets v Indiana Pacers- Taipei

15/10/13- LA Lakers v Golden State Warriors- Beijing

18/10/13- LA Lakers v Golden State Warriors- Shanghai

Game Night ft. Miami @ NY Knicks

HEAT COMEBACK TIES FRANCHISE WIN STREAK; CLIPPERS FALL TO OKC & LAKERS EDGE PAST THE HAWKS

Miami Heat (43-14) equalled their franchise record of 14 straight wins after defeating the Knicks (35-21) 99-93 in New York after overturning a 16-point deficit. LeBron James continued to enhance his MVP credentials with 29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while Dwyane Wade had 20pts/8rbs/8as to help cancel out the 32 point haul from Carmelo Anthony. ‘Melo’ had 17 after the first although the Knicks trailed narrowly before streaking clear in the second with Jason Kidd nailing four triples to help the hosts into a 59-45 lead. Miami battled back in the third before tying the game following consecutive triples from LeBron in the final quarter. Wade put the visiting Heat ahead with four minutes to go and they held on to their advantage to deny the Knicks a third win over Miami this season.

In the second game of the SkySports double header, Oklahoma (43-16) survived a late fightback from the LA Clippers (43-19) to record a 108-104 victory.  Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 64 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists for the visitors while All-Star MVP Chris Paul had 26 points and 8 assists for the Clippers, who battled back from 19 points down after a foray of 3-pointers gave them the lead with 90 seconds to go before falling short.

San Antonio (47-14) reacted well to the loss of Tony Parker for around four weeks with a comprehensive 114-75 drubbing against the Detroit Pistons (23-39). LA Lakers (30-30) finally reached the .500 mark of a close fought 99-98 win at home to the Atlanta Hawks (33-25). Kobe Bryant top scored with a 34 point haul and scored a lay-up with nine seconds left to seal the win after the visiting Hawks  had battled back from 16 points down to lead in the final minute. Indiana Pacers (38-22) maintained second spot in the Eastern standings with a 97-92 home win against Chicago (34-26) as David West’s 31 points helped to down the Bulls.

STAR Performance: Tim Duncan had 16 points, 11 rebounds, provided six assists and blocked five shots.

Houston Rockets (33-28) recorded a convincing 136-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks (26-33) after a dominant third quarter powered them to success. Chandler Parsons had a career-high 32 points on 12-13 FG shooting including 6-7 three’s while James Harden and Jeremy Lin both added 21 points with 16 assists between them. Washington Wizards (19-39) enjoyed a 90-87 win at home to the 76ers (23-35) to inflict an eighth defeat in nine on Philadelphia.

Sacramento Kings (21-40) cruised to a 119-83 victory at home to the Charlotte Bobcats (13-46) after outscoring their opponents 43-19 in the third quarter. John Salmons led six Kings‘ scorers in double-figures with a 22 point haul as Sacramento look to lift themselves off of bottom spot in the Eastern standings. Memphis (39-19) have now won nine of their last ten after defeating Orlando (16-44) 108-82 with Tayshaun Prince leading an array of scorers with 14 points in the absence of Zach Randolph.

STAT: Marc Gasol dished out 11 assists for the first time in his career during the Grizzlies‘ win.

Check-out Kobe‘s high-flying dunk on his way to a 34 point haul against the Hawks.

Game Night! ft. Sacramento @ Miami

LEBRON AND WADE HAVE SEASON-HIGHS TO PROPEL MIAMI TO WIN IN DOUBLE OT; INDIANA MAKE IT FIVE STRAIGHT WHILE THE BULLS FALL BACK

Miami Heat (41-14) needed two periods of overtime to record their TWELFTH straight victory after beating the Sacramento Kings (19-39) 141-129 in a thriller.  LeBron James posted his first 40 point game of the season and dished out a career-high 16 assists with Dwayne Wade a grateful recipient on his way to a season-high 39 point haul while Ray Allen chipped in with 21 points on 5-10 shooting from beyond the arc. For the Kings, Marcus Thornton had a season-high 38 points off the bench with 8-12 from long range and DeMarcus Cousins added a 24p/15r double-double but couldn’t prevent a SIXTH consecutive defeat.

Miami trailed at the half and at the end of the third but a bright spell in the fourth gave them a 105-96 advantage with four minutes on the clock. Thornton made a trio of triples and a lay-in from Cousins with 8.5 seconds left was enough to take the game beyond regulation at 112. Thornton drained another shortly followed by a three from Isaiah Thomas to make it a one point game before LeBron split his free throw attempts and the game was extended further at 124. The reigning MVP took over in the double-overtime with 11 points to take him to 40 as the Heat outscored Sacramento 17-5 in the second period.

STAT:

Chicago (32-25) have now lost SEVEN of their last ten as they fell to a 101-98 defeat at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-38). Carlos Boozer (27p) and Luol Deng (26p) led the hosts with a combined 53 points but a 25 point haul from Dion Waiters in the absence of Kyrie Irving carried the Cavs to the win. Meanwhile, the LA Clippers (41-18) powered past the Charlotte Bobcats (13-44) 106-84 as Blake Griffin led the way with a 24p while Chris Paul provided 13 assists.

STAT: It was the 24th time this season CP3 has dished out 10+ dimes in a game.

Indiana Pacers (36-21) maintained second spot in the Eastern conference with their FIFTH win in a row after seeing off the Golden State Warriors (33-24) 108-97 despite a 38 point haul from Stephen Curry. A strong third quarter (31-20) set the platform for the victory and the home side were led by 28 points from David West while Paul George and George Hill combining for a further 44. Brooklyn Nets (34-24) moved past New York Knicks in the win column with a 101-97 on the road in New Orleans despite some late resistance from the Hornets (20-38). Deron Williams had a big night with 33 points and EIGHT assists while Grievis Vasquez led the hosts in points, rebounds and assists with a 20-8-7 performance.

STAT: Deron Williams matched his season-high points tally he also recorded against OKC in early December.

Dirk Nowitzki had a huge 21p/20r double-double in vain for the Dallas Mavericks (25-31) as the Milwaukee Bucks (27-28) picked up the 95-90 win on the road. Monta Ellis had a game-high 22 points to keep the Bucks in the final play-off position ahead of the Toronto Raptors. Minnesota (20-34) had a strong second-half comeback to take their game with Phoenix into overtime but fell short as the Suns (19-39) came out with an 84-83 victory. Orlando Magic (16-41) recorded a surprise 98-84 win on the road in Philadelphia as the 76ers (22-33) suffered a sixth straight defeat.

STAT: Larry Sanders scored 10+ points for the sixth straight game for the first time this season whilst continuing to lead the league in blocks with an average of 3.16 a game.

The King amongst Kings: check-out LeBron’s season-high night against Sacramento: (NBA)