London's NBA showpiece attracts stars

Story highlights

  • NBA showpiece was the sixth game to be held in London in as many years
  • The game went to overtime, before the Toronto Raptors eventually triumphed 106-103
  • A host of English Premier League stars, past and present, were in attendance
  • Didier Drogba — now at Montreal Impact — even took the court, sinking a basket

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London (CNN)A host of stars were out in force at London’s O2 Arena Thursday, as the Toronto Raptors battled Orlando Magic in their NBA Eastern-Conference clash.

The likes of beleaguered Chelsea star Eden Hazard, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and actor Michael B Jordan, who stars in Creed, were courtside to watch the sell-out game.

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were outstanding — the former scoring 24 points in the Raptors’ 106-103 victory.

They were made to fight hard for the win, though, as Orlando Magic closed a double-digit deficit to take the game to overtime.

The jubilant crowd, which also included Hazard’s Chelsea teammates Cesc Fabregas, Asmir Begovic, Kurt Zouma, Loic Remy and former Blues Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba — was treated to a thrilling finale, before Toronto eventually triumphed for a fourth straight NBA win.

    The players of another London club — Arsenal — were also out in force, with Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and club legends Thierry Henry and Robert Pires at the O2.

    British super-middleweight boxer George Groves showed footballers aren’t the only NBA fans, but it was Drogba that proved he’s a master of all trades, as he took to the court at half time, sinking a shot from the free-throw line.

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