Toronto to play pre-season games in Vancouver, Montreal
TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors will play pre-season games in Vancouver and Montreal in October, the National Basketball Association said on Monday.
The Raptors, coming off their first playoff appearance in six years, will face the Sacramento Kings at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Oct. 5 and the New York Knicks at Bell Centre in Montreal 19 days later.
The games are part of the NBA Canada Series that is aimed at growing the game in the country.
Seven Canadian players have been drafted into the NBA in the past three years, with eight now featuring on league rosters.
"We are honored to play host to the Kings and Knicks as part of the NBA Canada Series," Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri said in a statement.
"Coming off an exciting 2013-14 season we look forward to continuing to build our fan base across Canada."
It will be the team's second pre-season visit to Vancouver, having downed the Phoenix Suns in 2010 in front of a crowd of 18,123.
The Raptors have also played the Knicks twice at the Bell Centre, in 2010 and 2012, in front of sellout crowds of 22,114.
Toronto won both games.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Tony Jimenez)