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In-Season Tournament review: Lakers remain perfect in West Group A

The fourth night of Group Play games of the In-Season Tournament has taken place and the Los Angeles Lakers, along with six other teams, maintained their unbeaten starts.

For those not totally au fait with this new initiative brought in by the NBA this season, Group Play and Knockout Rounds are the two terms you need to know.

Group Play is where all 30 teams have been split into six groups and each side will play each opponent in their group once from November 3rd-28th.

A total of eight teams will then advance to the Knockout Rounds - the six sides boasting the best standing from their Group Play games and two 'wild cards' (the team from each conference with the best record in Group Play games but finished second).

The fourth Tournament Night took place on Friday and there is plenty to digest from the latest round of fixtures, starting with the Lakers' third victory in a row.

LA making a statement

The Lakers extended their Group Play record to 3-0 after defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 107-95, with LeBron James starring once again with a leading 35 points for his side.

LeBron, who also had nine assists and five rebounds, was the fifth-highest scorer across all the fixtures on Friday and his performance kept Los Angeles top of West Group A.

Next up for the Lakers, who are +1400 to win the NBA Championship, is a clash against Utah Jazz, who sit second in the group with a 2-1 record after suffering a narrow 131-128 defeat to the Phoenix Suns last time out.

West Group ARecord
1st - Lakers3-0
2nd - Jazz2-1
3rd - Suns1-1
4th - Trail Blazers1-2
5th - Grizzlies0-3

Fox keeps Kings top

In the West Group C, De'Aaron Fox scored a leading 43 points in a superb display to help the Sacramento Kings beat the San Antonio Spurs 129-120.

The Kings has now moved to 2-0, one of seven teams yet to taste defeat in the Group Play, although they are only top of Group C by a narrow points different margin.

Also sitting on 2-0 is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have defeated the Spurs and the Golden State Warriors to make a fast start to their In-Season Tournament play.

West Group CRecord
1st - Kings2-0
2nd - Timberwolves2-0
3rd - Golden State1-1
4th - City Thunder1-2
5th - Spurs0-3

Quartet yet to taste defeat

Along with the Lakers, Timberwolves and the Kings, there are another four teams that remain unbeaten in Group Play and they all ply their trade in the Eastern section.

In the East Group A, the Indiana Pacers sit top of the standings on 2-0, while in Group B the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat both boast 2-0 records.

The first-placed Bucks thrashed the Charlotte Hornets 130-99 on Friday and that has given them a points different of +36, 23 better off than Miami, who sit in second.

East Group BRecord
1st - Bucks2-0
2nd - Heat2-0
3rd - Knicks1-1
4th - Hornets1-2
5th - Wizards0-3

The only other side yet to taste defeat are the Boston Celtics, who edged past the Toronto Raptors 108-105 to take their record to 2-0 and move top of Group C in the East.

Boston are +350 to win the NBA Championship 2023/24 and it is hard to ignore them given the quality of performances they have shown in recent weeks.

Brooklyn Nets are second in Group C on 2-1, while Orlando Magic chalked up their first victory in Group Play to move 1-1 when overcoming the Chicago Bulls 103-97.

East Group CRecord
1st - Celtics2-0
2nd - Nets2-1
3rd - Magic1-1
4th - Raptors0-1
5th - Bulls0-2

Next up

The next set of fixtures will take place on Tuesday, November 21st, with two East Group A matches seeing the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Philadelphia 76ers and the Pacers face the Atlanta Hawks.

In Group C in the East, the Raptors go up against the Orlando Magic, while the West Group A action will see the Jazz face the Lakers and the Trail Blazers take on the Suns.

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