MANCHESTER, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- NBA entered another uncharted city on Tuesday night when the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Philadelphia 76ers 103-99 in a first-ever pre-season game staged in Manchester.
Reggie Jackson scored the game-high 29 points, while Kevin Durant delivered a near triple-double with 21 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds to help Thunder win the finale of their pre-season tour of Europe following victory over Fenerbahce in Istanbul on Saturday.
It was the first match between two NBA teams held in a city of Britain other than London.
However, Durant, the four-time All Star forward, was not strange to local fans as he played for the United States in a pre-Olympic victory over Britain at the same Manchester Arena last year.
The 25-year-old American, the most eye-catching star tonight, grabbed 14 points in the third quarter to help the Thunder turn a three-point half-time deficit into an 83-74 lead.
Durant remained on the bench for the final quarter when the 76ers fought back to tie it at 85 but failed to repeat the win over Bilbao in Spain on Sunday.
In a city famous for its football, some Premier League stars including Rio Ferdinand, Jack Rodwell and Patrick Vieira showed in the 13,472 crowd.
"The fans were unbelievable. There deserve to have some more basketball. And London has regular-season basketball. Hopefully there will be more games," said Durant, who was part of the USA team who won gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
NBA will return to Britain in January when London will stage its fourth regular-season game in four years.
According to the organiser's numbers, for the 2013-14 season, NBA Global Games include a record 12 NBA teams playing 10 games (eight pre-season and two regular-season games) in 10 cities in seven countries and regions.