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FSM Recap: Lakers vs Pacers – In Season Tournament Final – 2023

www.FranchiseSportsMedia.com

Los Angeles Lakers (14-9) | Indiana Pacers (12-8)

 

The Los Angeles Lakers are now the champions of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament after defeating the Indiana Pacers 123-109.

The Lakers vs Pacers played in the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.

Lakers vs Pacers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The Los Angeles Lakers emerged victorious in the inaugural In-Season Tournament after defeating the Indiana Pacers, 123-109, for the NBA Cup.

A lot of people get the opportunity to make a lot of money, but not a lot of people get the opportunity to make history,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of the Lakers winning the first NBA Cup.

LeBron James was named the inaugural In-Season Tournament MVP after posting 24 points (10-of-21 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), 11 rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

It’s going to be a helluva weekend for me,” James said. “To be able to win the In-Season Tournament, pick up a little dough on the way and then go see my son.”

It was without a doubt that the MVP award was going to James. However, Anthony Davis made a stronger case to be the recipient with one of the best games of his career, totaling 41 points (16-of-24 FGs, 9-of-13 FTs), 20 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks.

The sky is the limit,” Ham said of James and Davis. “They’re a hell of a one-two punch. And that one or two could be either one of them on a given night.”

Austin Reaves also made an enormous contribution off the bench, producing 28 points (9-of-15 FGs, 0-of-3 3s, 10-of-12 FTs) and three assists.

Anytime you can be the first to win or do anything, it’s cool,” Reaves said. “The money is obviously a good extra bonus, but anytime we get on the court and compete as a unit, we want to win.”

 

Lakers vs Pacers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The Pacers came up short, but Tyrese Haliburton still did everything he could to keep his squad afloat, finishing with 20 points (8-of-14 FGs, 2-of-8 3s) and 11 assists. Haliburton came into this contest averaging 32.3 points and 12.7 assists on 54 percent field goals and 45 percent 3s over the last seven games.

We just got outplayed tonight from the start of the game to the end of the game,” Haliburton said. “Just didn’t do the job on loose balls, didn’t rebound, didn’t get enough stops when needed. They just outplayed us, and it’s frustrating. It’s funny because everybody says this has the NCAA Tournament feel, but after a game like that, you’re sitting in the locker room going, ‘Most of us ain’t graduating.’ We play on Monday.”

Also for Indiana, Bennedict Mathurin provided a spark off the bench with 20 points (5-of-11 FGs, 1-of-5 3s, 9-of-9 FTs), Aaron Nesmith was also a reserve but put up 15 points (4-of-10 FGs, 1-of-5 3s, 6-of-7 FTs) and three rebounds, and Obi Toppin had 13 points (5-of-11 FGs, 3-of-7 3s).

Our guys got a real taste of what the elevated stage is all about,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “It’s so important to have this experience, to feel the intensity, to feel the glare and the glow, and to find out what it means to be totally together in an effort to conquer it. We conquered a lot of challenges along the way. This one tonight was a little too steep.”

Lakers vs Pacers at franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas Sports news today from Las Vegas sports teams.

Lakers vs Pacers – In-Season Tournament Final – First Quarter:

It was the start of the Lakers vs Pacers in the first quarter. 

Lakers vs Pacers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The Lakers sent many bodies at Haliburton early on, which forced him to commit two turnovers after committing zero in each of the previous two games.

Myles Turner picked up two quick fouls and joined Bruce Brown, who also had two fouls, on the bench.

Los Angeles got great looks in the paint as they scored 24 of their first 28 points inside, though it helped that the Pacers rank last in the NBA with 62.5 points in the paint allowed per game.

Indiana had a hard time dealing with Davis, who was already up to 13 points with five boards (two offensive) at the 2:15 mark of the first quarter.

Behind a stellar performance from Davis, Los Angeles took a 34-29 lead into the second quarter. A more physical Lakers squad was ready for Indiana’s pace, getting back in a timely fashion in transition.

The teams combined for 19 free throw attempts (Pacers 8-of-9, Los Angeles 10-of-16), with Brown, Turner, Mathurin, James, and Rui Hachimura all picking up two personal fouls.

It was the end of the Lakers vs Pacers in the first quarter. 

Lakers vs Pacers – In-Season Tournament Final – 2nd Quarter:

The start of the Lakers vs Pacers second quarter. 

Lakers vs Pacers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

James had six points early in the second period, all on aggressive, explosive attacks to the rim, forcing the Pacers into a timeout at the 8:59 mark with Los Angeles up 44-38. 

Nevertheless, Indiana did a good job getting to the free throw line, hitting 10-of-11 to help counteract their 38.7 percent shooting from the field.

Davis, who had 17 points and nine boards already, did what so few can do defensively, closing out to discourage a 3-pointer from Toppin, then recovered to swat Brown at the rim.

Despite Davis controlling the game, the Pacers stayed in the game by scoring well in transition (13 fast-break points), taking care of the ball (only three turnovers — all in the first quarter), and winning the 3-point and free-throw battles (both more makes and attempts in both categories).

James got called for his third personal foul and sat with three minutes left in the first half. The Lakers led 52-49 when he went to the pine.

With James sitting due to foul trouble, Reaves continued a terrific scoring half with nine straight points, allowing a 65-58 edge with 24.8 seconds in the half. Reaves had 22 points to lead all scorers, the biggest scoring half of his young career.

The Lakers led 65-60 at halftime. Reaves did whatever he wanted in pick-and-rolls, drawing fouls and getting to the basket. Meanwhile, the Pacers shot 36.2 percent overall and 29.4 percent from deep, but Indiana was 21-of-22 at the FT line, and Los Angeles was 11-of-15. 

The Lakers average 18.6 free throw attempts allowed (1st in the NBA), and Indiana averages 27.7 allowed (last in the NBA). Los Angeles attempts 25.7 free throws a game (4th), while the Pacers average 22.2 (16th).

The Lakers used their long, rangy defenders against Haliburton, leading the star point guard to only have four points, six assists, and three turnovers.

Lakers vs Pacers at franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas Sports news today from Las Vegas sports teams

Lakers vs Pacers – In-Season Tournament Final – 3rd Quarter:

It was the start of the Lakers vs Pacers in the third quarter. 

Lakers vs Pacers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

One benefit of James’ foul trouble for Los Angeles, even if it didn’t help them on the scoreboard, is that James played just 14 minutes after playing 22 on Thursday. He should’ve been as fresh as possible for the second half.

On the other hand, Turner picked up his fourth personal foul at the 9:48 mark of the third period while trying to handle Davis on the offensive glass. He headed to the bench with the Lakers up 74-63.

Davis was up to 22 points with 14 rebounds but hadn’t been moving as freely after grabbing at his hip area after a battle inside with several Pacers on the offensive glass. Jaxson Hayes replaced him at the 6:01 mark of the third.

The Lakers brought a 90-82 lead into the fourth quarter. Haliburton finally found his groove in the third. However, the Pacers couldn’t string together any stops. Los Angeles ball handlers got into the paint and created at will.

It was the end of the Lakers vs Pacers in the third quarter. 

Lakers vs Pacers – In-Season Tournament Final – 4th Quarter:

It was the start of the Lakers vs Pacers in the fourth quarter. 

Lakers vs Pacers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The Lakers thought they’d managed a 6-0 run to close the third, pushing their most significant lead to 11. But after a turnover from James with 2.8 seconds left, Indiana pushed the ball and got a buzzer-beating 3 to cut the lead to eight.

Despite that, Los Angeles continued to dominate the paint (66-34 points in the paint advantage). The Lakers shot 51.5 percent, despite being 1-of-11 from 3. The Pacers stuck in it thanks to five more made free throws and five more made 3s, plus Los Angeles had six more turnovers.

The Lakers looked to be in good shape heading into the final period. However, they allowed a 7-2 run from Indiana to start the fourth. Suddenly, the lead was down to three at 92-89.

The Pacers just kept coming despite consistently strong defensive possessions from the Lakers.

Cam Reddish had an answer on the other end from 3, however, to keep Los Angeles up six at 105-99 with still 5:25 to play for the NBA Cup.

Turner fouled out with four minutes left to play, giving way for Davis to extend his point total to 39 points after scoring ten straight to give the Lakers their biggest lead at 115-99, putting Los Angeles in a firm position with just 3:10 to play, and leading to both benched being emptied.

We want to put in perspective that we’re still in December, but we definitely like where we are (as a team) right now,” James said. “We made history. Anytime you’re on the right side of history, you take it.” 

Nah,” Ham said after being asked if he expected a letdown from the Lakers after winning this tournament. “The joy you saw is authentic. The competitiveness was authentic. But we’re well aware of what’s ahead of us on this upcoming road trip.”

Lakers vs Pacers at franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas Sports news today from Las Vegas sports teams.

The Los Angeles Lakers will now take on the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, December 12th, at 4:30 pm PST. Thank you for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news.

 

 

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