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Utah Jazz to play regular season game in Mexico City in 2018-2019; reported to host Christmas game too

Robbie Hummel of the Minnesota Timberwolves passes the ball to a player from the Tarahumara Indigenous basketball team, from Mexico's Chihuahua state, at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. The Timberwolves will face the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in Mexico, the second time a regular season NBA match is played here since 1997. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz announced Tuesday it will play a regular season game against the Orlando Magic in Mexico City as part of the NBA Mexico City Games 2018.

The game will be played at the Arena Cuiudad de Mexico City on Saturday December 15. The Magic will face the Chicago Bulls on Thursday December 13. The games will be broadcast on ESPN and NBA League Pass International.

“The Utah Jazz are excited to play in Mexico City and are proud to represent our fans and the NBA on a global stage,” said Utah Jazz president Steve Starks. “This will be our fourth time playing in Mexico and first time back in 15 years. Our organization thanks the NBA and the people of Mexico City for this unique opportunity.”

This will be the first time the Jazz play a regular season game in Mexico City. They last played in a preseason contest there in 2003 against the Dallas Mavericks.

The organization also hit the hardwood in the very beginning of the 1990-1991 season to play in Tokyo, Japan. The Jazz played two games against the Phoenix Suns winning one game and losing the other. Former University of Utah star Tom Chambers scored 38 points in the first game for the Suns in a victory. Karl Malone led the Jazz in the next game scoring 29 points and pulling down 14 rebounds in a 102-101 win for Utah.

This is the NBA’s third straight year taking NBA teams to play there.

“Returning to Mexico City for two regular season games this season reinforces our commitment to growing basketball in Mexico and Latin America,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “NBA teams have been playing in Mexico for more than 25 years, and the Bulls, Jazz and Magic organizations are excited to continue the tradition of bringing the live game experience to our passionate Mexican fans.”

ESPN’s Chris Haynes also reported Tuesday the Jazz will host the Portland Trailblazers on Christmas Day. It will be the first game for the organization on the holiday since 1997 when it played the Houston Rockets.