NBA In-Season Tournament: Lakers To Host Suns In Quarterfinals
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers wrapped up Western Conference Group A of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament last week, but the rest of the league finished group play on Tuesday night.

The Lakers are the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament after going a perfect 4-0 in group play with a league-leading plus-74 point differential. They beat the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz to win Group A.

As the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Lakers the will host the Suns in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Four teams from each conference advanced past the group stages – three group winners and one wild card – with point differential serving as the tiebreaker.

So even though the Lakers beat the Suns in group play, Phoenix was able to advance as the West’s wild card, setting up the rematch in Los Angeles.

The other quarterfinal matchup in the West will feature the No. 3 seeded New Orleans Pelicans against the No. 2 seeded Sacramento Kings, who both won their respective groups.

In the East, the Milwaukee Bucks are the No. 1 seed and will host the New York Knicks while the No. 2 seed Indiana Pacers will host the No. 3 seed Boston Celtics.

After the quarterfinal matchups, the In-Season Tournament will shift to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where the semifinals and finals will be played on Thursday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 9, respectively.

The NBA’s addition of the In-Season Tournament has already been a big success with games having a playoff atmosphere and being ultra competitive, and that should only continue to be the case now that the knockout rounds are here.

There is money on the line for the players with the winning team receiving $500,000 apiece, the championship losing team $200,000 each, semifinal losers $100,000 each and quarterfinal losers $50,000 each.

The Lakers, in particular, have been really good at home this season and Anthony Davis recently expressed his excitement to play their quarterfinal game at Crypto.com Arena in front of the team’s fans.

There usually is a lot of purple and gold in Las Vegas during the annual Summer League as well, so Christian Wood is expecting that to again be the case if the Lakers are able to advance to the semifinals.

NBA In-Season Tournament bracket & schedule

West

No. 3 Pelicans vs. No. 2 Kings, Monday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m. PT
No. 4 Suns vs. No. 1 Lakers: Tuesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m. PT

East

No. 3 Celtics vs. No. 2 Pacers Monday, Dec. 4, 4:30 p.m. PT
No. 4 Knicks vs. No. 1 Bucks Tuesday, Dec. 5, 4:30 p.m. PT

*All games televised on TNT

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