Lakers, Bucks advance into semifinals of NBA In-Season Tournament

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (L) shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant defends during their NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinal in Los Angeles, U.S., December 5, 2023. /CFP

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (L) shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant defends during their NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinal in Los Angeles, U.S., December 5, 2023. /CFP

The Los Angeles Lakers secured the last spot in the semifinals of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament on Tuesday.

LeBron James scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, Anthony Davis had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and Austin Reaves scored 20 points for the top-seeded Lakers, who took a 106-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

“You’ve got some of the most alpha male competitors in the world, and if you give us an opportunity to play for something meaningful or an incentive, then you get what you’re getting,” said James, who also racked up 11 assists, eight rebounds and five steals. “The In-Season Tournament is what it is.”

When a reporter asked, “Does taking over in the fourth (quarter) ever get old?” James answered “No.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks against the New York Knicks during the NBA In-Season Tournament in Milwaukee, U.S., December 5, 2023. /CFP

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks against the New York Knicks during the NBA In-Season Tournament in Milwaukee, U.S., December 5, 2023. /CFP

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks against the New York Knicks during the NBA In-Season Tournament in Milwaukee, U.S., December 5, 2023. /CFP

In another game, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 10 assists, Damian Lillard added 28 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New York Knicks 146-122.

Julius Randle scored a season-high 41 points for the Knicks, whose three-game winning streak was snapped. Jalen Brunson added 24 points, and R.J. Barrett scored 23 for New York, which earned a wild-card berth in the knockout round through a point-differential tiebreaker.

Different from regular NBA games, the In-Season Tournament featured a single-elimination format in the knockout round. The winner will receive the NBA Cup, the trophy of the tournament.

The Bucks will take on the Pacers, while the Lakers will face the Pelicans on Thursday in the semifinals in Las Vegas.

(With input from AP)

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