Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors to Meet in 2019 NBA Japan Games

This fall, James Harden will be taking his beard and his basketball buddies to the Far East. On Monday, the NBA and Rakuten announced that the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors will play two preseason games at Saitama Super Arena in Japan on October 8 and 10.

The Association has staged 12 regular-season games in Japan since 1990, when the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz met in Tokyo for the first regular-season contest played outside of North America by a U.S. pro sports league.

With James and Chris Paul on the roster, the Rockets are bound to bring some serious star power to Saitama. The Raptors, on the other hand, have Kyle Lowry under contract through the 2019-20 season, but will have to wait and see what fellow All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol do with their respective player options this summer.


Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.