Cavs, Magic to play preseason games in China

Updated: March 29, 2007, 4:11 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SHANGHAI, China -- LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are headed to China.

The Cavaliers will play preseason games against the Orlando Magic on Oct. 17 and Oct. 20, the NBA announced at a news conference on Thursday. The first game will be played in Shanghai at the Qizhong Forest Sports City arena, which has a capacity of 13,779.

The second will be in the former Portuguese territory of Macao. Sandwiched between those games, the Magic will face the Chinese national team on Oct. 18, also in Macao. Those games will be played at the new Venetian Arena, which has a capacity of 15,000.

The preseason games will be the second for the NBA in China. In 2004, the Houston Rockets -- led by Chinese center Yao Ming -- and the Sacramento Kings played in Beijing and Shanghai.

The meeting between the Magic and the China national team will mark the second time an NBA team has faced China's top team on national soil. In 1979, the Washington Bullets -- now the Wizards -- played two games against the China national team.

For James and Magic star Dwight Howard, it will be the second trip in two years to China, where the NBA has worked to strengthen its presence before the 2008 Olympics. The United States played tuneup games there last year on its way to Japan for the world championships.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN's research department was used in this report.