HomeNBANBA In-Season Tournament: LeBron James helps Los Angeles Lakers set up final...

NBA In-Season Tournament: LeBron James helps Los Angeles Lakers set up final with Indiana Pacers

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LeBron James scored 30 points as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 133-89 to reach the final of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament.

James, who will turn 39 on 30 December, also had eight assists and five rebounds in under 23 minutes on court.

The Lakers will face the Indiana Pacers in Saturday’s title game after they beat the Milwaukee Bucks 128-119 in Thursday’s other semi-final.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham called James “extraordinary” after the team’s win.

“He is the ultimate tone-setter,” Ham added.

“His energy, him sacrificing his body – three charges. He set the tone for us on both ends of the basketball court for us tonight.”

James, who made nine of his 12 attempts from the floor, sat out the fourth quarter with the Lakers in full control having out-scored the Pelicans 43-17 in the third quarter.

In the first semi-final of the inaugural tournament, Tyrese Haliburton scored a team-leading 27 points and added 15 assists to help the Pacers inflict a surprise defeat on the top-seeded Bucks.

“I think we’re shocking the world right now,” Haliburton said.

“Nobody expected us to be here except for the guys in the locker room.”

The Bucks were led by 37 points and 10 rebounds from two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The 2021 NBA champions took a 94-91 lead into the final period, but Bruce Brown put Indiana ahead with just over six minutes remaining and they were able to hold on to reach Saturday’s final in Las Vegas.

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