NBA In-Season Tournament: Lakers To Face Pelicans In Semifinals In Las Vegas
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns in the final game of the NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals, the stage is now set for the semifinals set to take place on Thursday, Dec. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Along with the Lakers, the Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks won their quarterfinals matchups and will head to Las Vegas.

The Eastern Conference semifinal between the Pacers and Bucks will tip off at 2 p.m. PT and will air on ESPN. Meanwhile, the Western Conference semifinal featuring the Lakers and Pelicans will start at 6 p.m. PT on TNT and TruTV.

The In-Season Tournament Championship Game will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. PT and the winners will take home the NBA Cup along with $500,000 for each player. By virtue of making the semifinals, each team has guaranteed their players at least $100,000 even if they lose. The runner-up of the In-Season Tournament will take home $250,000 per player.

The championship game is considered an 83rd game and does not count toward a team’s regular season record.

If Los Angeles lost against Phoenix, they would have played the Sacramento Kings on Friday instead. The Kings lost to the Pelicans in their quarterfinal matchup and were the only team to lose on their home floor.

The Lakers, Pacers and Bucks all went 4-0 in group play and remain undefeated through five games, setting up for an exciting semifinal. Indiana or Milwaukee will suffer their first loss, while Los Angeles plays a New Orleans team that has been steadily rising throughout the 2023-24 season.

It’s a great storyline with Anthony Davis taking on his former team with a trip to the In-Season Tournament championship on the line.

If the Lakers lose on Thursday, they will get several days of rest until they head on the road next Tuesday to play the Dallas Mavericks.

Anthony Davis not treating In-Season Tournament differently despite extra attention

The NBA In-Season Tournament was initially met with skepticism from fans, but after group play and the quarterfinals, it’s fair to say it’s been a success. Teams are treating the games as if it were the playoffs and that’s made for fun games for fans to tune into.

Los Angeles clearly has been approaching the tournament games differently as they look far more engaged compared to some of their other regular season showings. However, Anthony Davis said he’s not treating the In-Season Tournament games any differently despite the attention and hype they’re getting.

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