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Nuggets, Celtics to play 2024 preseason games in Abu Dhabi, NBA announces

The Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics will play a pair of 2024-25 preseason games in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, the NBA announced Wednesday morning.

Part of an ongoing collaboration between the NBA and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, the games will take place Friday Oct. 4 and Sunday Oct. 6. The venue and ticket information will not be shared until a later date, according to a news release.

“There is incredible momentum around basketball in the UAE and across the Middle East,” NBA deputy commissioner and COO Mark Tatum said in a statement, “and we believe these games as well as our year-round grassroots development and fan engagement efforts will be a catalyst for the continued growth of the game in the region.”

The Nuggets (42-20) and Celtics (48-13) will face off Thursday (8 p.m. MT, TNT) at Ball Arena in their last meeting of the 2023-24 regular season. Boston holds the best record in the league, while Denver is the defending NBA champion.

Multiple Nuggets players might be featured abroad this summer at the 2024 Olympics as well. Jamal Murray has hopes to play for the Canadian national team if he is physically able. Nikola Jokic has not verbally committed to Serbia’s Olympic team, but he’ll have an automatic roster spot if he wishes to join the team in France. And Vlatko Cancar is hoping to have recovered from his ACL injury by late July so he can play for Slovenia. Aaron Gordon was also included on a list of finalists to make the U.S. team, though roster spots are tight considering the high interest level from an aging generation of American superstars.

“The Denver Nuggets organization couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to visit and play NBA games in Abu Dhabi this coming preseason,” Nuggets team president Josh Kroenke said in a statement. “We look forward to this unique experience and being able to help expand the global reach of our great league.”

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