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Lakers News: LeBron James Assesses Impact Of In-Season Tournament On Play

The purple and gold are taking the in-season tournament seriously

With a 107-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers last night, your Los Angeles Lakers secured a much needed win to move above .500 (7-6) and, more importantly, move to 3-0 in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament. 

The Purple and Gold are on a roll when it comes to the tournament, as they sit alone at the top of their West Group A, are the only undefeated team, and have the highest point differential in tournament games at +42.

LA seems to be motivated and locked in in their tournament games, and it's by no accident. After their third In-Season Tournament win on Friday, Lakers superstar LeBron James expressed the impact the tournament is having on the team and his play. 

“I think it’s an incentive for sure. Early in the season, when you are playing the in-season tournament, so we understand what’s at stake,” James said. “It’s not something we’re putting all our eggs in one basket in the in-season tournament. But we know when the games come, every Tuesday and Friday, we know what it’s about, we know what’s at stake. So, it’s been good for us so far.”

(Per Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times)

The winning players from the tournament get $500,000 each, and the Lakers are playing like they want that money, especially James. The 38-year-old superstar tied a season-high in points, pouring 35 points on the Blazers, along with nine assists and five rebounds. 

No matter what trophy is in front of them, James and the Lakers are in it to win it. Through three In-Season Tournament games, the four-time NBA champion is averaging 27.6 points, 8.3 rebounds per game, and 8.6 assists per game. LA is on a great pace for the NBA cup, and we'll see if they can keep the streak going on Tuesday against the Utah Jazz, their final match in pool play.

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