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Anthony Davis Leads Lakers To In-Season Tournament Championship

The first version of the NBA In-Season Tournament came to a close on Saturday night in Las Vegas, as the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Indiana Pacers. There was excitement throughout the fourth quarter as the Pacers made a late run to energize the crowd in attendance and cut the lead to 3, but the Lakers were otherwise in full control throughout most of the contest, and would up winning by a score of 123-109.

Lakers Win First Ever NBA In-Season Tournament

Much of the credit goes to Anthony Davis. On a night when LeBron James scored well less than his average points load, Davis did more than pick up the slack. His 41 point total was 13 higher than any other player who stepped on the court on Saturday, as he went 16 for 24 from the field and made 9 of his 13 free throws. The Lakers scored more than 80 points in the paint, It was the highest scoring game of the season so far for Davis by a long shot.

But he was even more impressive on the defensive end. As the game’s commentators alluded to, Anthony Davis was putting on a clinic when the Pacers had the ball, controlling the paint throughout the game and finishing with four blocks on the stat sheet. While it has been Rudy Gobert who has been receiving a brunt of the early Defensive Player of the Year praise, Davis made quite a case with his performance on Saturday.

Anthony Davis Comes Up Huge In Deciding Game

The Lakers were also aided by a big scoring game from Austin Reaves, who dropped 28 off of the bench to go along with James’ 24. They are crowned the champions of the first In-Season Tournament, which has been deemed an overall success in its first iteration. Much has been made about the money collected by the winning team, as the each player on the Lakers will take home $500,000 for the victory.

The Pacers had quite the run, but their Cinderella story came up short in the end. Tyrese Haliburton burst onto the scene with during group play and in the first two games in Las Vegas, but his efforts weren’t enough on Saturday as he managed just 20 points after scoring 25+ in each of his last 7 games.

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