La Semana

Davis, James power Lakers to inaugural NBA Cup crown

Las Vegas (AFP) – The Los Angeles Lakers, fueled by a monster game from Anthony Davis, beat the upstart Indiana Pacers 123-109 to win the rst edition of the NBA in-season tournament.


Davis scored 41 points and pulled down 20 rebounds while superstar Lebron James added 24 points and 11 rebounds for the 17-time NBA champion Lakers, who added the Jrst NBA Cup to the club trophy case.

For the league’s all-time leading scorer James, it was a brand new accolade in the 21st season of a career that has included four NBA titles and four NBA Most Valuable Player awards.

The 38-year-old got the nod as MVP of the tournament.

“We made history,” James said as he celebrated on court with his teammates. “Anytime you’re on the right side of history, you take it.

“The Jrst in-season tournament belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers.”

Led by Davis and James, the Lakers out-muscled the Pacers, never letting them get their highoctane offense to fully Jre.

They out-scored the Pacers 8644 in the paint and got the better of them on the boards 55-32.

“We wanted to be the Jrst to win this,” Davis said. “We know it’s not the real thing, but we keep taking steps in the right direction. “The Jrst to do it, we’ll take it.” The Lakers completed an unbeaten run through the tournament, which started with all 30 NBA teams drawn into six groups for round-robin play.

All games, except Saturday’s Jnal, counted toward the regularsea­son standings, and James said the Lakers’ performanc­e as the event ramped up the intensity in what can be a lackluster part of the long NBA season would only help them when the time comes to make a playoff push.

“I think every moment we grew,” James said. “The in-season tournament, 7-0, it’s been high-intensity games and we’ve just grown.

“I feel like guys have felt a lot more comfortabl­e in their roles. We’ve had a pretty good understand­ing of rotations. You know who you’re going to be playing with and you know what you guys want to do out on the 'oor.”

The Pacers also came into the Cup title game unbeaten, having toppled the top two Eastern Conference Teams, Boston and Milwaukee, in the quarter-jnals and semi-jnals.

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