The Bucks will face off against the Indiana Pacers in the semifinals, while the Lakers will go head-to-head with the Pelicans.
The NBA in-season tournament has reached its penultimate stage in Las Vegas, with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers securing their spots in the semifinals following their respective victories on Tuesday.
The tournament’s final four teams will converge in Vegas on Thursday for two exciting semifinal matchups:
- East: No. 2 seed Indiana Pacers vs. No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks, 5:00 PM ET (ESPN)
- West: No. 3 seed New Orleans Pelicans vs. No. 1 seed Los Angeles Lakers, 9:00 PM ET (TNT)
The tournament tops with the championship game on December 9, also in Las Vegas. While the semifinals will count towards each team’s regular-season record, the final will not. All players and coaches on the final four teams have already secured a guaranteed $100,000 payout, but two more victories would elevate that sum to $500,000.
As the tournament progresses, teams are adapting and adjusting, learning valuable lessons along the way.
Lakers and Suns Battle in Thrilling Rematch
The Lakers and Suns faced off again in another exciting game, with the Lakers narrowly edging out the Suns 106-103.
The Lakers built an early lead, but the Suns fought back and took the lead in the second half. The game was close throughout the 4th quarter, with none of the teams able to gain a significant advantage.
LeBron James led the Lakers with 31 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals. Kevin Durant had 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists for the Suns.
The Lakers emerged victorious in a game that showcased the NBA’s competitive spirit. The Suns showed their resilience and ability to compete with the league’s best teams.
Suns Comeback Hindered by Controversial Timeout Call
The Suns were on the verge of completing a remarkable comeback when a controversial timeout call by Lakers’ LeBron James halted their momentum. With the Suns trailing by four points, they had managed to cut the deficit with a layup by Kevin Durant. Following a scramble for possession, the Suns secured the ball after Austin Reaves lost control. However, as the ball was still loose, James was allowed to call a timeout, which is typically prohibited in such situations.
This questionable decision effectively allowed the Lakers to regroup and maintain their lead. The Suns could not recover from this setback and ultimately fell short by four points. The timeout call has sparked widespread debate and raised questions about officiating the in-season tournament.
If the Suns had managed to secure the ball, they would have had a precious possession under the basket, trailing by just two points with 7.4 seconds remaining. However, the Lakers regained possession, forcing the Suns to resort to fouls in a desperate attempt to extend the game.
Bucks Outshine Knicks in High-Scoring Battle
The Milwaukee Bucks unleashed a barrage of three-pointers to overpower the New York Knicks, claiming a decisive 146-122 victory on Tuesday. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the charge with an impressive 35-point performance, while the Bucks collectively drained 23 of 38 three-pointers.
This offensive outburst shattered the Bucks’ season-high point total and marked the first time since Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary 100-point game in 1962 that the Knicks conceded over 37 points in the first three quarters.
The first half was a thrilling display of offensive firepower, with both teams combining for a staggering 147 points. The Bucks showcased remarkable accuracy from beyond the arc, sinking 12-of-17 three-pointers in the opening two quarters, outshooting the Knicks from long range by 27 points. This first-half exchange set a new record for the highest combined field-goal percentage in any NBA game this season.
Julius Randle Kept the Knicks in Conflict
He went a perfect 9-of-9 from the field in the first half and collected 25 of his 41 points in the opening two periods.
However, the Bucks’ offensive dominance and defensive tenacity eventually proved too much for the Knicks to overcome. The Bucks seized control in the third quarter, embarking on a commanding 16-6 run, capped off by a spectacular out-of-bounds lob to Antetokounmpo.
With their offensive prowess and defensive lockdown, the Bucks secured a resounding victory, demonstrating their ability to overpower opponents when firing on all cylinders.
Bucks Overpower Knicks with Sharpshooting and Strong Defense
The Milwaukee Bucks dominated the New York Knicks in a convincing 24-point victory, thanks to their blistering shooting and solid defense.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks’ charge with a near triple-double, tallying 35 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Damian Lillard and Malik Beasley provided crucial support with 28 and 18 points, respectively. The Bucks’ shooting accuracy was exceptional, converting 60% of their field goals and 60% of their three-point attempts.
Despite Julius Randle’s impressive 41-point performance, the Knicks struggled to keep pace with the Bucks’ offensive firepower. Jalen Brunson and R.J. Barrett contributed 24 and 23 points, respectively, but the Knicks’ shooting from beyond the arc was subpar, making only 7 of their 21 three-point attempts.
The Bucks’ victory demonstrated their ability to overpower opponents when they were firing on all cylinders. Their combination of sharpshooting and strong defense proved too much for the Knicks to handle.
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