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Knicks to face Wizards at The O2 in January

PUBLISHED: 15:51 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:12 20 June 2018

Boston Celtics took on Philadelphia 76ers in the 2018 NBA London Game (pic: Simon Cooper/PA)

Boston Celtics took on Philadelphia 76ers in the 2018 NBA London Game (pic: Simon Cooper/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

NBA returns to the capital for a ninth regular-season game

The New York Knicks will take on the Washington Wizards at The O2 in January in the ninth regular-season NBA game to be played in the capital.

The game, announced by the league on Wednesday, will see the Knicks play a regular-season game in London for the third time, having beaten the Detroit Pistons in 2013 and lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2015.

“I am excited to return to London,” said guard Tim Hardaway Jr, who played in that contest against the Bucks at a time when the Knicks were mired in what was the franchise’s worst ever season, losing 65 of their 82 league games.

“We had a great experience during our last visit in 2015 playing in front of passionate fans and are looking forward to another trip overseas.”

The Knicks are coming off another losing season, having finished 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 29-53 record despite the emergence of Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis, the fourth overall pick from the 2015 draft. In May, they named David Fizdale, twice an NBA champion as assistant coach while with the Miami Heat, as their new head coach.

The Wizards, led by the All-Star guard pairing of Bradley Beal and John Wall, scraped into the play-offs this past season with a 43-39 record but went out to the Toronto Raptors in the first round.

This will be the team’s first visit to the UK.

“It will be an honour to represent the Washington Wizards organisation as we play our first game in the UK,” Wall said. “I look forward to connecting with our fans in London and using the experience to further bond as a team.”

All eight previous NBA regular-season games played in London have been sell-outs, with another anticipated for this game on January 17.

“We’ve been playing regular-season match-ups in London for nearly a decade, and over that time the games and the surrounding festivities have grown into the equivalent of an NBA All-Star experience transported to Europe,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

“Fans and partners from across the continent come to celebrate basketball and enjoy the excitement and experience of an NBA game.”

* The Washington Wizards will host the New York Knicks at The O2 on January 17. To sign up for early access to tickets, exclusive offers and the latest team news, please visit NBA.com/London.

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