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Ian Maule / Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) smiles after being fouled while shooting against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of a semifinal in the NBA basketball In-Season Tournament, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in Las Vegas.

The Los Angeles Lakers punched their ticket to the finals of the NBA In-Season Tournament with a resounding 133-89 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in the semifinals on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.

LeBron James finished with 30 points and eight assists in 23 minutes, Anthony Davis chipped in with 16 points and 15 rebounds and Austin Reaves came off the bench to score 17 as five Lakers reached double figures in scoring.

Zion Williamson led all Pelicans starters with 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting, while leading scorer Brandon Ingram was held to a season-low nine points on 4 of 13 shooting.

The Lakers, the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference side of the bracket, will face the Indiana Pacers for the NBA Cup back on Saturday (5:30 p.m., ABC) at T-Mobile.

The In-Season Tournament provided entertaining games during the knockout stage. This one was not one them.

What was a slow start in the first quarter for the Lakers was quickly erased early in the second. James hit three consecutive 3-pointers and the Lakers didn’t look back, turning a 30-29 deficit into a 38-33 lead in less than two minutes. James and Davis pushed the Lakers to a 67-54 halftime lead.

The third quarter wasn’t any better for the Pelicans.

Los Angeles outscored New Orleans 43-17 coming out of halftime behind Davis (10 points) and James (nine). The Lakers held the Pelicans to 7 of 24 shooting in the third while they went 13 of 20 from the floor.

Check back later for updates on the Lakers’ win.

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at twitter.com/DannyWebster21.

Article written by #LasVegasSun

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