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 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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