Lakers to host Suns in In-Season Tournament quarterfinal – Press Enterprise



After several weeks of group-play games the field for the elimination portion of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament is set, and the Lakers get a rematch in the quarterfinals, hosting the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena.

In one of their best performances of the season, the Lakers rallied to defeat the Suns, 122-119, on Nov. 10 in Phoenix to grab an early advantage in their five-team group.

In other quarterfinals, the Indiana Pacers will host the Boston Celtics on Monday at 4:30 p.m. PT, followed by the New Orleans Pelicans traveling to face the Sacramento Kings at 7 p.m. The New York Knicks play at the Milwaukee Bucks in Tuesday’s Eastern Conference game at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Lakers and Suns at 7 p.m.

The quarterfinal winners advance to the semifinals on Dec. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with the Eastern Conference teams facing off at 2 p.m. PT, followed by the Western Conference teams playing at 6. The tournament championship game is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. (ABC/Ch. 7), with every player on the winning team’s roster earning $500,000.

The Lakers, Kings, Bucks and Pacers all went 4-0 in group play, but everything else came down to tiebreakers.

In the East, Boston, New York, Cleveland, Orlando and Brooklyn all went 3-1 and kept trying to pile up points. Boston outscored the teams in its group by 27 points, compared with a plus-22 differential for Orlando and plus-20 for Brooklyn. That meant the Celtics won East Group C.

The West race didn’t end up with quite as much drama as the East had with the down-to-the-wire differential chasing. Phoenix (3-1) got the wild card over Minnesota (3-1) because of point differential – the Suns outscored opponents by 34 points, while the Timberwolves finished with a differential of zero.

Golden State needed to beat Sacramento by 12 points to win West Group C; the Warriors led by 24 in the first half and by 18 midway through the third quarter, but the Kings roared back to end Golden State’s tournament hopes with a 124-123 win.

In an oddity that some of the teams probably are not thrilled about, each of the four quarterfinals features a matchup that was already on the schedule four times this season – so all of those matchups will now be played five times this season, one more than teams typically can play a conference opponent in any season.



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