Lakers vs Pacers NBA Cup Finals Preview: LeBron James, Tyrese Haliburton Square Off For Championship

Lakers vs Pacers NBA Cup Finals Preview: LeBron James, Tyrese Haliburton Square Off For Championship

Joel Reyes
updated at December 8, 2023 at 8:39 AM
  • The Lakers crushed the Pelicans in the semi-finals of the NBA In-Season Tournament
  • The Pacers edged past the Bucks in their semi-final showdown on Thursday
  • The finals of the NBA Cup will be held on Saturday, December 9, in Las Vegas

And then there were two.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers made history on Thursday, becoming the first two teams to reach the finals of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament after winning their respective games in Las Vegas.

Sports Brief previews their much-anticipated NBA Cup championship showdown.

LeBron James, Tyrese Haliburton, NBA Cup, NBA, Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers
LeBron James and Tyrese Haliburton. Images: Katelyn Mulcahy/ Jesse D. Garrabrant.
Source: Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers Preview

The Lakers and the Pacers will put their unbeaten records in the tournament on the line when they lock horns this coming Saturday for the NBA Cup.

The Lakers have won all of their six games in this event, including a comprehensive 133-89 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in the semi-finals on Thursday night.

LeBron James starred for Los Angeles in the rout, recording 30 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and zero turnovers in only 23 minutes of action, per ESPN.

James, who had a team-high +36 rating, shot 9 of 12 from the field against the Pelicans, including 4 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Such was Los Angeles' dominance that James didn't bother staying in a Laker uniform for the final 17 minutes of the contest.

They entered the fourth quarter with a 110-71 lead and cruised to the 44-point victory.

They will next face the Indiana Pacers, who defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the semis.

Tyrese Haliburton continued his excellent play in the tournament, nearly registering another triple-double in the 128-119 win over the Bucks.

The Pacers star recorded 27 points, 15 assists, and seven rebounds in the semi-finals, per Yahoo Sports.

He has been exceptional for Indiana in the knockout rounds, tallying 28 assists and no turnovers in the wins over Boston and Milwaukee.

Saturday's final will be the first meeting this season between the Lakers and the Pacers. They split their two meetings last season, with LA and Indiana each recording a one-point win.

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Players with the most 3s in a game

Sports Brief recently reported on the players with the most 3-pointers in an NBA contest.

Klay Thompson leads the list, scoring 14 3-pointers against the Chicago Bulls in 2018.

Steph Curry, Zach LaVine, and Lillard are tied for second, with each knocking down 13 threes in a game.

Joel Reyes photo
Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.
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