Mumbai: The lasting image of the first-ever NBA Games in India was cagers of Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers dancing to the tune of bhangra during timeouts, and over 3,000 kids from the Reliance Foundation cheering them on.
At the NSCI Dome here, basketball was displayed at a level never seen before as Indiana Pacers edged past Sacramento Kings 132-131 in a rip-roaring contest as NBA made it’s debut here.
After the regulation time ended at 118-118, the match went into overtime when the Pacers, who were trailing throughout the match, went ahead for the first-time and managed to clinch a nail-biting victory.
For Kings, a two-pointer by Marvin Bagley (overall 12 points) in the dying seconds of the game could not seal the deal for them.
It was T. Warren (overall 30 points) who took the lead for Pacers in additional time with a three-pointer to put his side 121-118 ahead, but Kings bounced back with Harrison Barnes (overall 21 points) grabbing two points.
However, Domantas Sabons (overall 21 points) took the Pacers ahead 123-120 again with a two-pointer.
Warren once again helped Pacers take the lead with a brilliant two-pointer, but the Kings came back to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
It was a lay-up shot in the end by Sabons that sealed the game for his side.
With the NBA season starting on October 22, the players were seen in full tilt as the action never ceased to entertain.
Since 2006, more than 35 current and former NBA and WNBA players have visited India. The NBA’s basketball and youth development initiatives in India include The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA programme, which has reached more than 10 million youth since its launch in 2013, and The NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training centre for top male and female prospects in the country.