Monday was the first night of the official tournament stage of the In-Season Tournament in the NBA, and featured one game from each conference played on national television. The Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers squared off in the East, while the New Orleans Pelicans visited the Sacramento Kings out West.
First Two Team Advance In NBA In-Season Tournament
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) December 5, 2023
The first game of the night featured an upset. The Celtics came in as the top team in the Eastern Conference and were favored as such, as the line on the game was 4.5. But the Pacers and their dynamic offense were too much for Boston.
Despite both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown going over the 30 point threshold, the Celtics lost by double digits. Indiana had a balanced attack, with 7 different players in double figures and led by Tyrese Haliburton’s 26. It was just the latest in a string of impressive performances by Haliburton to start the season, as the fourth-year player was able to notch a triple double in the team’s biggest game so far this year.
The Pacers will take on the winner of the quarterfinal game between the Bucks and Knicks on Tuesday night.
Pacers And Pelicans Headed To Las Vegas
BREAKING: The New Orleans Pelicans advance to the Semifinals in the NBA In-Season Tournament. pic.twitter.com/AgH0l1vb6x
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 5, 2023
In the second and only other NBA game of the evening, the Kings jumped out to a 14-point first quarter lead, but it was all Pelicans from there on out. All five starters for New Orleans finished with 10+ points, and New Orleans was in control from the start of the second quarter on. The Kings provided a late flurry that got their home crowd back into the action, but Brandon Ingram and Herbert Jones led the way late and were able to hold off Sacramento.
The Pelicans will head to Las Vegas as one of the four teams remaining in the tournament. They will take on the winner of the game between the Lakers and Suns on Tuesday.
Both semi-finals games will be played on Thursday, with the championship game coming on Saturday night.
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