The Los Angeles Lakers made history Saturday night by becoming the first winner of an NBA midseason tournament. The Angels didn't fall behind for a minute en route to a 109-123 victory over Indiana's talented bunch. The Pacers showed convincing performance in the quarterfinals against Boston and in the semifinals against Milwaukee, but in the finals they couldn't stand up to tremendous performances from Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Davis finished with a double-double of 41 points and 20 rebounds, in what was his third career game with at least 40 points, 20 rebounds and 2 blocks (equaling the highest figure in history), while LeBron, who was named MVP of the Tournament, finished with a double-double of his own with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
"Davis is exceptional tonight," The Ringer reporter Kevin O'Connor said. "It was a dominant performance to keep in mind when it comes time to pick Defensive Player of the Year and guess who's going to win the championship," with Brett Asher adding, "It was the best solo display this season in the NBA and I don't think there's room for discussion."
The @Lakers win in Vegas to become Champions of the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament! 🏆
Anthony Davis: 41 PTS, 20 REB, 5 AST, 4 BLK
LeBron James: 24 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST
Austin Reaves: 28 PTS, 3 AST pic.twitter.com/VKX6nCEpkL
— NBA (@NBA) December 10, 2023
LeBron, who turns 39 at the end of the month and still seems to be in his prime, told his best friend: "Records will still be broken, but we are the first winners and it will last forever. We made history. No one will take that away from us and it's great to do that with a historic club and a roster of funny and so competitive players. Athoni's performance was as dominant as Shaquille O'Neal's. 40 points, 20 rebounds and how many blocks? AD controlled the game. We're the first team ever to win a trophy and nothing beats that."
The groom said after the game: "We've been doing this for a few years now and know each other's tendencies. Obviously at Money Time we'll go to pick and roll, which is very hard to stop. We feed off each other. On Thursday it was LeBron, this time me. My friends put me in a great position to succeed. It's very special, but we want to win in June as well. It's a step in the right direction."
LeBron James y Anthony Davis tenían una misión.#NBAInSeasonTournament pic.twitter.com/eADevgtHu6
— NBASpain (@NBAspain) December 10, 2023
For the loser, Tyrese Haliburton stayed with Drive despite the loss, telling reporters: "It makes me want to be in more important games. It didn't feel like a regular-season game — it felt like LeBron and Davis hadn't even come off the bench. We are broken. They were better than us from start to finish. It's frustrating."
LeBron James on Anthony Davis' performance tonight video courtesy of @SpectrumSN: pic.twitter.com/j4Car9M212
— The Lakers Review (@TheLakersReview) December 10, 2023
The hottest sports articles and updates on your Telegram
Did we make a mistake? We'll fix it! If you find a mistake in the article, please share with us