Celtics and Nuggets will play two preseason games in Abu Dhabi, NBA announces

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum drives past Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The NBA announced Wednesday the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets will play each other this October in the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets were announced as the two teams that will play in the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2024 this October, the league said Wednesday.

It's the third edition of the series, and this time it will have two-time Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokić squaring off against five-time All-Star Jayson Tatum in a pair of preseason games that'll be played Oct. 4 and Oct. 6.

"We're excited to bring two of the best teams in the NBA to Abu Dhabi in the Celtics and the Nuggets," Mark Tatum, the NBA's deputy commissioner, said in a news release. "There is incredible momentum around basketball in the UAE and across the Middle East, and we believe these games as well as our year-round grassroots development and fan engagement efforts will be a catalyst for the continued growth of the game in the region.”

The news comes one day before Boston heads to Denver play in the final game of their season series. The Nuggets won the first contest 102-100 in Boston on Jan. 19, and it was significant because Denver was the first team to win at Boston this season.

Thanks to a 34-point performance from Jokić and guard Jamal Murray pouring in 35, the Nuggets were able to overcome three Celtics scoring 20 or more points. Guard Derrick White led all Celtics with 24 points, Tatum scored 22 and center Kristaps Porziņģis had 21.

“Both teams were countering each other,” Murray said at the time. “Both throwing haymakers and we were able to have the final punch.”