February 22, 2024

The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA’s first In-Season Event (IST) champions. 

LeBron James and the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 123-109 Saturday night time in Las Vegas to take residence the championship trophy. 

The Los Angeles Lakers pose for a photograph with the NBA Cup after successful the In-Season Event Championship towards the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 9, 2023, at T-Cellular Enviornment in Las Vegas. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE by way of Getty Pictures)

As winners of the inaugural IST, every Lakers’ participant on commonplace contracts takes residence $500,000 in winnings. 

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“We made historical past,” James stated on the courtroom after the win. “And anytime you’re on the appropriate facet of historical past, you’ll take it. First In-Season Event belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers. That may by no means, ever be topped. Ever.”

Led by eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis, the Lakers held the lead many of the approach earlier than pulling away within the fourth quarter. 

Davis had 41 factors, 20 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks on the night time. 

“I believe AD, he was at Stage 1 and took it to Stage 3,” Lakers backup heart Christian Wooden informed ESPN. “He informed me earlier than the sport, ‘That is Sport 7 for me, I’m going to point out you what a Sport 7 is like.’ I’ve by no means been in a single earlier than. I stated, ‘All proper, present me.’ And he went on the market and he obtained 40 and 20. That’s unimaginable.”

Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to the media after successful the In-Season Event Championship on Dec. 9, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Juan Ocampo/NBAE by way of Getty Pictures)

LeBron James had 24 factors and 11 rebounds and took residence the primary MVP.

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“They’re a hell of a one-two punch,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham stated about James and Davis. “That one or two might be both of them on any given night time. On the finish of the day, they know how you can take it to the following stage when all the things is on the road.”

The Pacers hung round till the Lakers went on a 13-0 run halfway by way of the fourth quarter. 

“We simply obtained outplayed tonight from the beginning of the sport to the top of the sport,” Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton stated. “Simply didn’t do the job on unfastened balls, didn’t rebound, didn’t get sufficient stops when wanted. They only outplayed us, and it’s irritating. It’s humorous as a result of everyone says this has the NCAA Event really feel, however after a recreation like that you just’re sitting within the locker room going, ‘Most of us ain’t graduating.’ We play on Monday.”

LeBron James with the IST MVP

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers receives the In-Season Event MVP Trophy on Dec. 9, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE by way of Getty Pictures)

Every Indiana participant on commonplace contracts took residence $200,000. 

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“Our guys obtained an actual style of what the elevated stage is all about,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle stated. “It’s so necessary to have this expertise, to really feel the depth, to really feel the glare and the glow and to seek out out what it means to be completely collectively in an effort to beat it. We conquered a whole lot of challenges alongside the way in which. This one tonight was a bit of too steep.”

The Related Press contributed to this report