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NBA back in Mexico City and London as expansion gathers pace

updated 3:24 PM EDT, Thu May 29, 2014
London's O2 Arena will again host a regular season game in the NBA for the fifth time.
London's O2 Arena will again host a regular season game in the NBA for the fifth time.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NBA to play regular season games in London and Mexico City
  • Houston takes on Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City on November 12
  • London hosts Milwaukee against the Knicks on January 15, 2015.
  • Miami Heat leads line-up for pre-season global series

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(CNN) -- The National Basketball Association (NBA) stepped up its global expansion Thursday with announcements of regular season games in the 2014/15 season in Mexico City and London.

The Houston Rockets will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City Arena on November 12, while the British capital will host Milwaukee Bucks against the New York Knicks at the O2 Arena on January 15.

Minnesota will be hoping to avoid its experience when last scheduled to play at the same venue on December 4 of last year.

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Its regular season game against San Antonio Spurs had to be postponed after a generator malfunction sent smoke billowing into the arena.

Read: Hoop dreams turn to reality for NBA

The game was made up in April, but Timberwolves president Chris Wright said his team was not put off by the unfortunate incident.

"This is a great opportunity for the NBA and the Minnesota Timberwolves to continue the incredible growth of our international fan base. The Mexico City fans were phenomenal last year and we look forward to visiting them again this season," he said in a statement.

It will be the fifth regular season game played in London, an annual event which started in 2011.

A capacity crowd last year saw Brooklyn Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks 127-110 at the O2.

London is also part of the expansion plans for the National Football League, with regular season NFL games being staged at Wembley to sell out crowds since 2007.

The four teams selected for the overseas feature games next season have many non U.S. players on their rosters.

Read: London hosts first regular NBA game

At the end of the 2013/14 NBA campaign they had a combined 18 international players from 17 countries

"While London and Mexico City each have their own unique culture, they both have rich sports traditions and share a great passion for the NBA," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

"These regular-season games will bring the excitement and incredible competition of our league to more fans in Europe and Latin America," he added.

The NBA has previously announced a series of pre-season games as part of the league's Global Games promotion.

Two-time defending champion Miami Heat will be among the five teams playing the matches across four countries.

The Heat joins the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs in a series of games in Brazil, China, Germany, and Turkey.

Read: NFL continues love affair with London

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