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Lakers embarrass Pelicans to advance to In-Season Tournament finals

LeBron James and the Lakers will have their shot at winning the In-Season Tournament after routing the Pelicans to advance to the finals.

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers: Semifinals - 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Lakers continued their In-Season Tournament dominance with their most impressive win yet — which is quite the statement — by frying the New Orleans Pelicans to punch their ticket to the championship game, 133-89.

LeBron James put in a masterclass performance scoring 30 points, five rebounds, and eight assists in only 24 minutes. Taurean Prince, who has been struggling with his offense, went 5-8 from three. D’Angelo Russell who was having trouble with his offense as well, scored 14.

Anthony Davis had a slow start but made up for it defensively and picked up his production in the second half, scoring 16 points with 15 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Austin Reaves scored 17 with five rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.

The Lakers came out with great energy and red hot from the field for a 10-3 lead. The Pelicans answered back with a 14-5 run to take a two-point lead. The rest of the quarter was a nice back and forth with the Pelicans heating up and the Lakers answering back, but the Pelicans led by one at the end.

To start the second, LeBron knocked down a few wild three-pointers, including one from the logo. It was his 11 straight points that helped the Lakers’ offense begin to flow better and they quickly took a nice lead. Led by LeBron’s 18 points in the quarter, the Lakers led 67-54 at the half.

The Lakers started the third quarter with intensity and they extended their lead to 20. The Pelicans seemed to gain a tiny ounce of hope in their souls and were able to get within 16, but a LeBron 3-pointer had the Lakers up 19.

That lead quickly got uglier as the Lakers were unrelenting with Taurean continuing his sudden excellent 3-point shooting with the lead growing to 40.

The Lakers' dominance continued into the fourth. The Pelicans had no jazz in their souls. Their hearts were fried. Their spirit was gone. That’s all folks!

Key Takeaways:

Not much to say other than...LEBRON JAMES.

The Lakers’ next game is the In-Season Tournament Championship against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday at 5:30 PM PT.

You can follow Karin on Twitter at @KarinAbcarians.

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