The Bulls arrived in Mexico City and will go through an afternoon practice leading up to Thursday’s tip against Orlando, The Magic will play two "home games" in 72 hours here in Mexico City entertaining the Bulls on Thursday and Utah Saturday. Orlando last played in Mexico City in a preseason game in 2012.
The NBA hosted four regular season games in Mexico City last season and by 2020 the NBA will have played 32 games in Mexico City. The NBA has been a part of the Mexico City sports landscape since 1992. Mexico City’s fan base loves the NBA and is extremely passionate about the sport. I think it's great the NBA plays global games because growing the sport is a never-ending task. The next generation needs to be instructed on learning and understanding the game on the court then taking their knowledge to the grassroots levels of community and city dwellings. The 1992 "Dream Team" was impactful on and off the court and it’s being felt today with 108 international players representing 42 countries and territories on NBA rosters.
Mexico has had four NBA players: Gustavo Ayon (NOLA, ATL, MILW, ATL) Jorge Gutierrez (BRK, MILW, CHA), Horacio Llamas Grey (PHX 96-98) and Eduardo Najera (DAL, DEN, CHA, GSW, Nets).
Head Coach Jim Boylen is emphasizing the importance of staying focused on the game and remembering it's a business trip. Regardless of location of a game, the Bulls need to play better as they're adjusting to having players return from the injured list. Rotations, minutes, etc. are a work in progress with three players (Dunn, Markkanen, Portis) back in the mix.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Toronto 123, Los Angeles Clippers 99: The Raps handed LAC their worst loss of the season and they did it without Kawhi Leonard who missed the game with a bruised right hip. Toronto outscored the Clippers 28-4 in fast break points.
Houston 111, Portland 103: Chris Paul notched his 15th career triple double. Houston's bench outscored Portland’s reserves 37-13.
San Antonio 111, Phoenix 86: Bryn Forbes scored a season-high 24 points and pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds. Gregg Popovich passed Pat Riley to become the fourth winningest coach in NBA history. Since taking over the Spurs he’s won 68% of his games - of course... and he would be the first to tell you, Robinson, Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Leonard...etc. Had the Spurs not won the lottery in 1997 (Duncan), the Spurs wouldn’t be the Spurs. You have to have great players to win BIG as he has done. What a remarkable two decades. Congratulations.
Cleveland's Tristan Thompson could miss a month with a sprained foot.
The Clippers' Lou Williams may miss two weeks with a hamstring issue.