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Anthony Davis dominates as Lakers win In-Season Tournament

Against a scrappy Pacers team, the Lakers turned to Anthony Davis to win the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers: Championship - 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Anthony Davis turned in one of the most dominant performances of his purple and gold career on Saturday to lead the Lakers to a 123-109 victory and the inaugural In-Season Tournament championship.

Matched up against an undersized Pacers team, Davis was unstoppable, pouring in 41 points with 20 rebounds on 16-24 shooting while adding five assists and four blocks.

Austin Reaves chipped in big with 28 points on 9-15 field goal shooting. The refs were calling plenty of fouls tonight and LeBron James received three in the first half. That made him have a slightly slower start to the game, but his second half was much stronger. He ended the game with 24 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The game started with high energy and both teams were scoring all over the place. AD asserted himself early, scoring a quick eight points. He continued to dominate, becoming the first player in the game from either team to score in double digits.

The Lakers' excellent defense was once again on display, but the Pacers were able to unload their great offense and kept the game close. The Lakers went up 34-29 after Reaves dazzled the crowd with a few moves leading into a midrange shot to end the quarter.

The great energy bled into the second quarter with Reaves continuing his excellent play as he was up to 11 points in seven minutes. The Lakers as a team were playing a lot of bully ball and LeBron was the one who was leading the charge. As soon as AD checked back into the game in the second frame, he picked up right where he left off and was up to 17 points.

The Lakers had the lead throughout, but the Pacers kept the game close, and with three minutes left in the second quarter, it was a three-point game. At the half, the Lakers were up 65-60 behind more incredible play from Reaves.

The Lakers opened the third quarter with LeBron and AD scoring the first points to extend the lead. The game was beginning to get away from the Pacers as the Lakers were cooking, thanks to their superstar duo.

The Pacers were able to get the lead back down to single digits and the Lakers answered back to get it to double digits again. Another Pacers surge happened and it was a five-point game with AD going to the line.

Taurean Prince hit the first three for the Lakers in the third period, who had gone 0-10 before that. A Benedict Mathurin buzzer-beater helped the Pacers get it within eight to end the quarter.

The fourth quarter started with the Pacers gaining momentum after a few Lakers blunders and they were within three. D’Angelo scored a quick four points to help the Lakers sustain the Pacers surge.

Both teams were exchanging baskets and the Pacers just kept staying within reach. With five minutes left, the vibes were intense with back-and-forth action that saw the AD taking over defensively and Cam Reddish and the Pacers trading 3-pointers.

As the game kept winding down, the Pacers were losing their steam and looked defeated. AD dismantled the Pacers, putting in an incredibly dominant and brilliant performance.

Reaves and Davis put the finishing touches on the game with free throws, layups and dunks and just like that, the game was in the refrigerator, the door’s closed, the light’s out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard, and the jello’s jiggling.

The Lakers are the inaugural In-Season Tournament champions.

Key Takeaways:

ANTHONY MARSHON DAVIS JR. That’s all.

The Lakers’ next game is on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks at 4:30 PM PT.

You can follow Karin on Twitter at @KarinAbcarians.

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