Basketball: NBA Global Games London 2017 prove a big hit as Denver Nuggets overcome Indiana Pacers
PUBLISHED: 15:30 18 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:36 18 January 2017
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London hosted its sixth regular season game last Thursday, which was another sell-out
It seems London’s taste for basketball is as insatiable as ever if the recent NBA Global Games 2017 event at the O2 Arena is anything to go by.
The venue was a sell-out with 18,689 packing in to watch the sixth regular season NBA clash to be held in the capital, this time pitting the Western Conference’s Denver Nuggets against Eastern Conference rivals Indiana Pacers.
Both teams had spent much of the week taking in the sights and sounds of the capital, as well as participating in a number of events with local youngsters, before their big night.
Pacers went into the match off the back of a five-game winning streak, which made them favourites, but it was Nuggets who were the quickest out of the blocks, with Italian Danilo Gallinari sinking a trio of three-point shots as Denver led 30-29 by the end of the first quarter.
By the end of the first half, though, Nuggets, who were the designated hosts, appeared to be taking to their time in London quite well as they moved 11 points clear at 67-56.
Such a dominant second-quarter performance would have certainly impressed the celebrities watching courtside, with the likes of singer Ellie Goulding rubbing shoulders with West Ham United stars Darren Randolph, Manuel Lanzini and Adrian, plus a host of other Premier League footballers past and present.
Better was yet to come from Denver as they led 106-76 by the end of the third period, with Pacers looking like they were still stuck Stateside rather than in London, before Nuggets ran out 140-112 victors.
A fear of mine before play started had been that the game would be broken up by too many stoppages, with American sports notorious for their numbers of breaks in play.
But full credit must go to the organisers, who filled the stoppages with segments that kept the crowd entertained throughout.
And if, like me, it was anyone’s first time watching basketball, it’s sure to have given them the bug — even if it was one-sided!