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Los Angeles Lakers sink Indiana Pacers to clinch NBA In-Season title

Lakers sink Pacers to clinch NBA In-Season title
© Reuters
The Los Angeles Lakers win the inaugural NBA In-Season tournament title with a 123-109 win over the Indiana Pacers in Las Vegas.

The Los Angeles Lakers won the inaugural edition of the NBA In-Season tournament with victory over the Indiana Pacers in Saturday's Championship game at T-Mobile Arena.

Thanks in part to a scintillating individual display from Anthony Davis, Darvin Ham's team prevailed 123-109 in Las Vegas, where LeBron James was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

Saturday's success also ensured a perfect 7-0 for the Lakers in the first iteration of the competition, having won all four of their group-stage contests before sinking the Phoenix Suns in the quarter-finals and the New Orleans Pelicans in the last four.

While James sauntered up to the podium to collect his MVP award after another productive evening, notching 24 points and 11 rebounds, Davis stole the limelight with an exceptional display in front of the Las Vegas crowd.

The 30-year-old ended the contest with an astonishing 41 points and 20 rebounds to his name, and he credited his "infamous pick-and-roll" with James as the key to their triumph at T-Mobile Arena.

"We've been doing it together for a long time, five years now, and we just figure it out," ESPN quotes Davis as saying when asked about his partnership with the NBA's all-time leading points scorer.

"We know each other's tendencies, what we like to do. Obviously in crunch time, we get to our infamous pick-and-roll and it's tough to stop. We feed off one another. Thursday, LeBron had it going. Tonight, it was me, and he still did his thing."

Austin Reaves also made his presence felt off the bench for the Lakers, coming up with 28 points as a replacement, while Tyrese Haliburton's 20 points and 11 assists for the Pacers were in vain, and the 23-year-old conceded that his side were second best on the evening.

"We just got outplayed tonight from the start of the game to the end of the game. 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," Haliburton added.

The Lakers - whose In-Season Championship game success had no impact on the regular-season standings - return to the road to meet the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, while the Pacers seek to bounce back away to the Detroit Pistons tomorrow.

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Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith celebrates with his teammates during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 7, 2023
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