The Toronto Raptors are in London gearing up for the 2016 NBA Global Game against Orlando Magic.
The Canadian-based franchise sits second in the East and looks well on track to claim their third straight Atlantic Division title.
Thursday evening's contest at the O2 Arena will be the sixth consecutive regular-season sellout in the capital city, and the third time DeMar DeRozan has represented the Raptors.
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"This is something I will definitely remember, and this is what made the game even more fun and competitive. I had a great time, and I’m glad I’ll be going to represent the Toronto Raptors again.
"Usually, when you play in the States, the crowd is typically cheering for one team. When I played at the O2 Arena fans were so intriguing. If a team scores, the fans were definitely into the game and that type of energy led to an exciting game and it was extremely fun."
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Only DeRozan and James Johnson remain from the Raptors team of 2011 and the Compton-born guard is the franchises' longest serving player.
Having been selected ninth in the 2009 NBA draft, the 26-year-old has become one of the most explosive backcourt players in the league.
As somewhat of a 'veteran' in Toronto, DeRozan appreciates the opportunity the Global Game offers to experiences something different. Not just with his team, but also with his family.
"It’s definitely great just to get a change of scenery. Instead of going to our common NBA cities and playing, we’re going to another country. We will take our families, and they will experience something new that a lot of us haven’t seen.
"Just to get a new experience and share something together is definitely going to be awesome."
Toronto have the chance to level the three-game series with Orlando after the Florida-based franchise snapped their unbeaten start to the season in November. Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo combined for 38 points as Magic won 92-87.
Scott Skiles' young side sits eighth in the East, but DeRozan is not surprised by their improvement this season.
"They’ve had a lot of talent in the last couple of years and all they needed was the experience, getting comfortable playing with each other and coming together as a team.
"This time around they just have the confidence and the understanding that they are a good team, so for me, it’s really not a surprise."
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