Toronto Raptors Take Part in NBA’s First Ever Game on Japanese Soil
This week, the NBA marked another incredible accomplishment.
With the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets traveling to the other side of the world, the NBA saw its first ever game played on Japanese soil. On both Wednesday and Thursday, the two basketball powerhouses put on high-scoring spectacles in front of a sold out Saitama Super Arena, the site of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We get ‘Let’s go Raptors’ in a lot of cities,” Raptors Head coach Nick Nurse said. “It’s nice to see it in Tokyo as well. Lot of Raptors fans around the world. It’s great.”
Not to be outshined, plenty of Rockets fans showed up as well as the two teams split the exhibition trip with the Raptors coming back from behind to win game one by a score of 134-129 and the Rockets taking game two with a 118-111 win. Both games went exactly as advertised, albeit without the presence of Raptors’ All-Star Kyle Lowry, the starters came out and balled out as Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Pascal Siakam all left their mark in what was a ground-breaking week for the NBA.
As for head coach Nurse, being in Japan, he took the opportunity to check out the Tokyo Dome and watch the Yomiuri Giants take on the Hanshin Tigers in the Central League Climax Series Final Stage opener.
“I love baseball and I’m excited to see the game there in Tokyo tonight,” he said when speaking with the media before practice on Wednesday.
Check out some more of the sights and sounds of the NBA’s first visit to Japan!