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FSM Recap: Lakers vs Pelicans – In Season Tournament Semifinals – 2023

www.FranchiseSportsMedia.com

Los Angeles Lakers (14-9) | New Orleans Pelicans (12-11)

 

The Los Angeles Lakers advance to the In Season Tournament finals championship game to take on the Indiana Pacers after dominating the New Orleans Pelicans, 133-89.

The Lakers vs Pelicans played in the T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.

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

The Los Angeles Lakers rocked the New Orleans Pelicans by 44 points, 133-89, to improve to 14-9 on the season and 6-0 in the In-Season Tournament. They will now play the Indiana Pacers in the championship game in a rematch of the 2000 NBA Finals

With this IST Semifinal win, the Lakers move past the Dallas Mavericks for 4th in the Western Conference and within half a game of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets for 2nd.

LeBron James supplied 30 points (9-of-12 FGs, 4-of-4 3s, 8-of-8 FTs), eight assists, and five rebounds in just 23 minutes of play, setting up the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament championship game.

Incredible,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of James’ performance. “He’s the ultimate tone setter. He set an unbelievable tone from the start of the game, and his teammates followed suit.”

James’ display in this one is further immortalized as he had the quickest 30-point game in Lakers franchise history.

“It’s impressive to watch him turn it to another gear,” D’Angelo Russell said of playing next to James in big games. “He can shoot it better, he’s faster, he’s not getting tired. I don’t even understand.”

Over the last two games, James has averaged 30.5 points, 9.5 assists, and 6.5 rebounds. He also shot 75 percent (6-of-8) from 3.

No question,” Ham said of James in the NBA MVP conversation. “That’s a no-brainer.”

The king wasn’t the only one putting on a show in the blowout, as his co-star Anthony Davis stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points (5-of-10 FGs, 0-of-2 3s, 6-of-8 FTs), 15 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks. 

I don’t think we have another one in our league that can guard 1 through 5 and we know that he can get a stop,” James said of Davis’ defense. “He’s been doing it for so long, I think it’s taken for granted by our league.”

Austin Reaves also had an incredible performance off the bench with 17 points (5-of-9 FGs, 3-of-6 3s, 4-of-4 FTs), seven assists, and five rebounds.

 

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

Los Angeles as a squad was on one, with three other Lakers scoring in double figures: Taurean Prince (15 points), Russell (14 points), and Rui Hachimura (12 points).

“It’s a beautiful thing to see this early,” Ham said. “I think the intensity that this tournament brings reveals that because it’s not just a regular-season game. It doesn’t feel like that. The stakes are way higher and you see people in those delicate moments what they are truly made of, at least the beginning stages.”

For the Pelicans, Zion Williamson put up an underwhelming performance with just 13 points (6-of-8 FGs, 1-of-6 FTs), three assists, and three turnovers. Brandon Ingram performed no vengeance against his former team, totaling just nine points (4-of-13 FGs, 0-of-3 3s) and seven assists. CJ McCollum wasn’t much help either, finishing with nine points (4-of-14 FGs, 1-of-4 3s), four rebounds, and two steals.

I think we are starting to get a feel for what we need to become a team for us to win basketball games, to be consistent,” James said. “Defensively, we’re really, really starting to tap into that like, OK, we’ve got to defend every single night. When we defend, we give ourselves a chance to win every night.”

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

Lakers vs Pelicans – In Season Tournament Semifinals – First Quarter:

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

The Lakers smashed the Phoenix Suns on the glass, but so far, it was New Orleans giving Los Angeles problems with their offensive rebounds. The Pelicans had a 4-1 edge and used their extra chances to counter the Lakers’ hot shooting (7-for-11) to tie the game at 17-17.

New Orleans ultimately battled back behind a 6-2 edge on the offensive glass to take a 30-29 lead out of the first quarter. The Pelicans scored 16 points in the paint, to the Lakers’ 10, while both teams hit four triples.

Russell and Reaves led the Lakers with six points each, while Davis had four points on 1-for-4 shooting.

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

Lakers vs Pelicans – In Season Tournament Semifinals – 2nd Quarter:

The start of the Lakers vs Pelicans second quarter. 

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

This is where James started to heat up and put on a show. 

Three straight triples from James ignited the T-Mobile Arena crowd, helping the Lakers to a 44-35 lead with 7:59 left to play in the first half. James already had a game-high 14 points and helped his team’s second unit overpower New Orleans’.

However, that pace couldn’t possibly continue, as the king had to rest, and the Pelicans trimmed seven points off of Los Angeles’ nine-point lead once James checked out and changed to a zone defense for much of the run.

With James reentering the game, the Lakers quickly regained their nine-point lead with a 7-0 run.

At halftime, the Lakers led 67-54.

It was a dominant second quarter from James. He scored a season-high 18 points in the second quarter alone to bring his total to 21. Prince had 12 points on four 3s. Davis struggled offensively (six points, 2-of-7 FGs) but had ten rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

In the second period, Los Angeles outscored New Orleans 38-24. The Lakers held the Pelicans to 45 percent shooting and forced four turnovers.

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

Lakers vs Pelicans – In Season Tournament Semifinals – 3rd Quarter:

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

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

Los Angeles pushed their lead to 19 after James picked up in the second half where he left off in the first, scoring seven quick points to force another timeout with 8:04 to play in the third quarter. Their length and cohesiveness defensively gave the Pelicans fits.

Los Angeles outscored New Orleans 23-6 to start the third quarter to take a commanding 90-60 lead with 5:44 left in the quarter.

Prince matched his season high of five triples made, with the Lakers being 14-of-27 so far as a team, with James hitting four, Russell with two, and Reaves with two.

This game turned into an absolute beatdown, as the Lakers outscored New Orleans 43-17 in the third period. The Lakers led 110-71 with 12 minutes to play. 

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

Lakers vs Pelicans – In Season Tournament Semifinals – 4th Quarter:

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

The Pelicans still couldn’t catch a break in the final period, as Los Angeles outscored them 23-18.

The Lakers now look forward to their In Season Tournament Finals matchup with the Pacers.

I think it’s a big deal just to be a part of the legacy,” Russell said of how it would feel for the Lakers to be the first team to win the NBA Cup. “I don’t know if it would go unnoticed to a lot of people, but it would be a big deal to me.”

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

The Los Angeles Lakers will now take on the Indiana Pacers for the In Season Tournament Finals and NBA Cup on Saturday, December 9th, at 5:30 pm PST. Thank you for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news.

 

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

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