The Los Angeles Lakers are the winners of the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament after beating the Indiana Pacers, 123-109, on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
It was not only a dominant game for the Lakers, but it was a dominant tournament overall as they went 7-0 with a plus-135 point differential. To no surprise, Lakers star LeBron James took home MVP honors of the tournament.
James had another quality game on Saturday against the Pacers, finishing with 24 points to go along with 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
It wasn’t James that was the biggest star of the night for the Lakers though as Anthony Davis turned in his best performance all season. The big man was all business from the jump and dominated on both ends of the floor to the tune of 41 points, 20 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
Unfortunately, even though the Lakers won, this game will not count towards their regular season record and neither will the stats, so Davis’ 40-20 game will largely be forgotten in history.
What won’t be forgotten though is that the Lakers are the first team to ever win the NBA Cup. All of the players and staff members get $500,000 for winning so there’s no doubt the Lakers will do some celebrating before leaving Las Vegas.
It wasn’t just James and Davis that contributed for L.A. as Austin Reaves had arguably his best game of the season. Despite dealing with the flu, Reaves turned in 28 points off the bench to go along with two rebounds and three assists on 9-of-15 shooting.
D’Angelo Russell was also in double figures with 13 points, four rebounds, seven assists and a steal.
The Lakers did an outstanding job of slowing down Tyrese Haliburton and the high-powered Pacers offense, although the star point guard still managed to finish with 20 points and 11 assists on 9-of-14 shooting in the loss. Cam Reddish played a big part in slowing down Haliburton and the Pacers and although he did not fill up the statsheet, he was a game-high plus-24.
Up next for the Lakers…
The Lakers do not have a ton of time to celebrate winning the NBA Cup in Las Vegas as they will begin a road trip on Tuesday in Dallas against the Mavericks. They will then stay in Texas for two games against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday and Friday.
While most of the team will likely stay in Las Vegas and then go straight to Dallas, LeBron will head back to L.A. on Sunday to watch his son Bronny make his USC debut.
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