(SportsNetwork.com) – The NBA will put its product on the line Wednesday at
Mexico City Arena, where the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves will
tip off in the league’s expanded NBA Global Games schedule.
“We are very proud to once again represent the NBA in Mexico,” said
Timberwolves President Chris Wright. “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.”
The Timberwolves were scheduled to play the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City,
Mexico last season, but the game was postponed because of smoky conditions
inside the arena. A generator malfunction sent smoke pouring into the building
and the arena was evacuated about 45 minutes prior to tip off.
The last regular-season NBA game in Mexico was on Dec. 6, 1997, when the
Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks.
Minnesota is 2-4 on the season and went 1-2 on a recent road trip, which
culminated with Saturday’s 102-92 loss at Miami.
Nikola Pekovic posted 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Thaddeus Young supplied
16 points and six boards for Minnesota, which was without its young point
guard Ricky Rubio for the first time this season. Rubio is dealing with an
“We battled,” Wolves coach Flip Saunders said. “We got a couple of groups
together that played hard. That was a positive to build on.”
Rookie Andrew Wiggins scored 10 points in defeat.
The Rockets started the season 6-0 and came back to earth with Saturday’s
98-87 loss to the Golden State Warriors. The two teams were both undefeated.
Stephen Curry scored 14 of his game-high 34 points in the fourth quarter to
lead the Warriors, while James Harden paced the Rockets with 22 points and
Isaiah Canaan ended with 21.
Terrence Jones (leg) missed his third straight game, Patrick Beverley
(hamstring) has been held out in four of five games and Dwight Howard was a
late scratch with flu-like symptoms.
“Tonight was just a tough game in general missing three of our starters,”
Jones and Beverly are still out and Howard should be back Wednesday. Howard is
posting an average of 19.7 points and 11.5 rebounds.
Houston went 3-1 against Minnesota last season and has won 20 of the past 26
matchups with the T-Wolves.