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NBA In-Season Tournament 2023: Davis, James, Lakers Race Past The Pacers To Win The First NBA Cup


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09, 2023: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers hoists the trophy with his teammates after winning the championship game of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)





LAS VEGAS (CC) - Led by superb team defense, an amazing Anthony Davis, an inspired Austin Reaves and a hungry LeBron James, who was named MVP, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA's first-ever In-Season Tournament by defeating the Indiana Pacers, tonight at T-Mobile Arena, 123-109.


With stars in the world of sports and entertainment in the house, the Lakers held rising star guard Tyrese Haliburton in check for most of the game. He finished with 20 points, 7 below his season average.



LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09, 2023: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates a basket against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter in the championship game of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament at T-Mobile Arena. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)



Far from average, Anthony Davis was the best player on the floor tonight. He finished the game with 41 points and 20 rebounds, while combining repellant rim protection, including 4 blocks, with unstoppable scoring in the paint.


The Lakers, as a club, had scored 80 points in the paint before garbage time rolled around. All of LBJ's made field goals were in the paint tonight.


Oft-professed Christian, James, showed his excellent speed, power, passing and three-point shooting in the money rounds of the tournament. The 39-year-old LBJ was the best player on the floor in the semifinals against New Orleans on Thursday.


He was 4 for 4 from 3 against N.O.


In the championship game, he was less aggressive on offense, but the Lakers did not need his scoring tonight. His leadership was enough.


He super-charged the Lakers, who celebrated with him after the game. He downplayed the MVP of the Tournament honors he received.


"Records can be broken. But we're the first champions of the In-Season Tournament, and nobody can ever top that," James said, while recognizing the accomplishments of his teammates during the Tournament.


He had three fouls in the first half tonight. The first time he had three fouls before halftime in an NBA game since 2021.


But Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves and the defense-minded Lakers made sure not to run afoul of James, who desperately wanted to win the NBA Cup.


Davis played desperate and was very aggressive, on offense, to start the game, scoring 8 of the Lakers first 15 points, while making 4 of 4 field goals.


The Lakers led 34-29 after the first quarter.


Austin Reaves scored 11 point in 7 minutes after coming in off the bench. He led the Lakers with 22 points in the first half.


Davis had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the half.


65-50 Lakers at the break. But L.A. led by 30, 52-22, in paint points.


The Lakers, one of the worst 3-point shooting percentage teams in the NBA, were 0 for 9 from behind the arc, for the game, midway through the third quarter, but still held a double-digit lead.


That was due to their dominant defensive effort, and relentless scoring in the paint.


L.A. equaled their then-largest lead of the game, 11 points, with 3:16 left in the third period, while James was resting on the bench.


The score was 92-80, Lakers, at the end of the third quarter.


The stage was set for an exciting fourth quarter. Clearly the two hottest clubs in the Tournament, both teams were 6-0 in tournament play before tonight's game.


Could the Lakers hold on? Could upstart Indiana overtake L.A.?


The Pacers cut the lead to three points early in the fourth quarter, forcing a Lakers timeout, called by Darvin Ham, L.A.'s second-year head coach.


After that, the Lakers never feared. They bulged the lead to 16 late in the fourth quarter, and coasted to the NBA Cup.

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wyoung1949
Dec 11, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

good article

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