The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 123-109 in the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament final, with LeBron James being named the MVP for the entire competition. The Lakers lift the first-ever NBA Cup, and secure $500,000 for each player and the coaches for winning the tournament. James was solid in the final with 24 points and 11 rebounds, but he got plenty of help from Anthony Davis (41 points, 20 rebounds) and Austin Reaves (28 points).
Inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament MVP award: LeBron James.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 10, 2023
The Lakers covered the spread as 4-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the under on the total set at 243.5 hit. The Pacers, one of the best offensive teams in the league, simply couldn’t keep things going for four quarters. Tyrese Haliburton (20 points, 11 assists) and Bennedict Mathurin (20 points) did their part, but the Pacers shot 36.8% from the floor and 24.4% from deep in an uncharacteristic effort. Indiana’s run did create some momentum for the team in the East with knockout wins over the Celtics and Bucks, but ultimately the Lakers were too much to overcome.
NBA games will resume Monday, with the Pacers taking on the Pistons. The Lakers are back in action Tuesday against the Mavericks. The Lakers will not return home until December 18 against the Knicks, so we might have to wait to see if there’s a banner raised for this In-Season Tournament win.