Starting 5 Daily Newsletter

NBA Starting 5, Dec. 10: LeBron, Lakers win first NBA Cup

A dominant Anthony Davis and MVP LeBron James lead Los Angeles to a perfect In-Season Tournament run.

“Records will be broken, but one thing that will never be broken is being the first to do something.”

– LeBron James

The Lakers are In-Season Tournament champs. LeBron’s the first MVP. Let’s catch you up on history in Vegas.


  1. 📈  Dominant Anthony Davis
  2. 👑. Another MVP for the King
  3. 🥇  Adding to the list of NBA firsts
  4. 📸  Photos of the championship
  5. 👀  Must-see from Vegas finale

🏆  In-Season Tournament Hub
🏆  Awards Announced Monday
🏀  No Games Today
🏀  13 On Monday


Full Focus: Lakers win inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament

Anthony Davis dominates with 41 points and 20 rebounds while In-Season Tournament MVP LeBron James adds 24 and 11 en route to another trophy.

Miss any of the Lakers’ celebration? We got you.


Fourth quarter. 6:11 to play. Indy cut L.A.’s lead to 3.

The Lakers had led since the game’s first 90 seconds, but the young Pacers wouldn’t go away.

Then Anthony Davis took over, ending the Pacers rally and putting the game – and the first NBA In-Season Tournament championship – away.

He scored 10 straight points as part of a 13-0 run over three minutes. He capped it off with a driving layup that gave him 39 points, forced an Indy timeout, and evoked this celebration.

It was emblematic of Davis’ dominance all night long and showed how much this game, this championship, meant to AD and the Lakers, who finished off a perfect tournament run with a 123-109 win.

  • LeBron on AD: “That was a Shaq-like dominant performance.” (Who was sitting courtside near the Lakers’ bench)

With the first-ever NBA Cup on the line, AD put together one of the best games of his career.

  • 41 points. 20 rebounds, 5 assists. 4 blocks
  • The first 40/20 game for Davis in over four years
  • His second 40/20 game as a Laker and fifth of his career
  • Only the second time any player had hit those four marks in a game over the past 50 seasons (since blocks began being tracked in 1973-74)
  • Darvin Ham: “If Bron is our Tom Brady on offense, Anthony Davis is our Ray Lewis. He anchors our defense, he plays middle linebacker, he communicates, he does all of that.”

A performance like this from Davis, coupled with the ageless brilliance of LeBron James, brings visions of another championship trophy to the City of Angels.

  • LeBron: “I feel like when we’re on the floor together, we’re healthy, we know what we’re capable of doing. We’ve just played too many games together, we’ve shared too many moments together, played in too many big moments together to fail each other.”

There’s a lot of season left before the Larry O’Brien Trophy is on the line. But the Lakers completed their first mission of the season. They won the first-ever NBA Cup.

Thanks to a transcendent night from Anthony Davis.


“We made history. Anytime you’re on the right side of history you’ll take it. The first In-Season Tournament belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers. That will never ever be topped. Ever.” – LeBron James

LeBron made it clear that he had his sights set on the new NBA title from the start.

His teammates followed suit.

And judging by the way the Vegas crowd reacted to his every move on Saturday, Laker fans followed suit, too.

  • “MVP! MVP!”: The 19,000-plus in attendance serenaded LeBron as he was named the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament MVP
  • Another accolade: LeBron walked out of T-Mobile Arena with a medal around his neck and another MVP trophy to add to his vast collection (four league MVPs, four Finals MVPs, three All-Star MVPs)

The Lakers were dominant from start to finish – going 7-0 in the tournament, outscoring their opponents by 135 total points for an average margin of victory of 19.3 points.

While Davis led the way in the championship game, LeBron was the driving force over the full 36 days of competition.

  • The Stats: LeBron averaged 26.4 points, 8.0 boards, 7.6 assists and 1.6 steals. L.A. was plus-116 in LeBron’s 215 minutes
  • The Shooting: LeBron shot 56.8% from the field, including a ridiculous 60.6% from 3-point range. 55 players attempted at least 25 3s in the tournament. None shot it better than LeBron

And when he wasn’t stuffing the stat sheet on the court, LeBron was still putting in work on the sidelines.

  •  Watch LeBron coaching up AD on how to attack Pacers shotblocker Myles Turner
  • All 16 of AD’s buckets came in the paint, as the Lakers dominated the paint 86-44

Ahead of the championship game, Lakers coach Darvin Ham tried to find the right words to properly describe LeBron’s impact on this Lakers’ team.


Seventy seven years ago, the Firsts started.

First game. First bucket. First road trip North of the border.

After the Lakers became the first In-Season Tournament champs and Bron, the first Tournament MVP in NBA history last night, spin through a few notable firsts they joined.

  • 1st NBA Game: Knicks 68, Toronto Huskies 66 (Nov. 1, 1946)
  • 1st Draft Pick: Clifton McNeely, Pittsburgh Ironmen (1947)
  • 1st Basket: Ossie Schectman, Knicks (Nov. 1, 1946)
  • 1st Finals: Philadelphia Warriors beat Chicago Stags, 5 games (1946-47)
  • 1st 50-Point Game: Joe Fulks, 63 pts (Feb. 10, 1949)
  • 1st Triple-Double: Andy Phillips, 17-10-10 (Dec. 14, 1950)
  • 1st All-Star MVP: Ed Macauley (1951)
  • 1st Rookie of the Year: Don ‘Monk’ Meineke (1952-53)
  • 1st MVP: Bob Pettit (1955-56)
  • 1st Back To Back MVP: Bill Russell (1960-61, 62, 63)
  • 1st To 20,000 Points: Bob Pettit (1964)
  • 1st Finals MVP: Jerry West (1969-70)

  • 1st To 30,000 Points: Wilt Chamberlain (1972)
  • 1st 3PM: Chris Ford (Oct. 12, 1979)
  • 1st Sixth Man of the Year: Bobby Jones (1982-83)
  • 1st Lottery Pick: Patrick Ewing, Knicks (1985)
  • 1st Player with 10+ 3PM in a Game: Brian Shaw (April 8, 1993)
  • 1st 8-seed to win a series vs a 1-seed: Nuggets defeat Sonics (1994) 
  • 1st 70-Win Team: Chicago Bulls (1995-96)
  • 1st Team with 20+ 3PM in a reg. season game: Toronto Raptors (March 13, 2005)
  • 1st Unanimous MVP: Stephen Curry (2016)
  • 1st To 3,000 3-Pointers: Steph Curry (Dec. 28, 2021)
  • 1st To 39,000 Points: LeBron James (Nov. 21, 2023)


LeBron with the pregame chalk toss

LeBron with the pregame chalk toss.

LeBron drives for two of his 24 points

LeBron drives for two of his 24 points.

Austin Reaves has 28 points in 28 minutes off the bench.

Anthony Davis lets his emotions out.

Anthony Davis lets his emotions out.

Tyrese Haliburton with the NBA logo pose.

Tyrese Haliburton with the NBA logo pose.

A combined 65 points for AD and Bron.

A combined 65 points for AD and Bron.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor

Enjoying the fruits of their labor

LeBron sprays champagne.

LeBron sprays champagne.


Thirty six days after the In-Season Tournament tipped off…

With the first 67 Tournament games in the books …

New champs crowned. Stars rising. Celebs shining…

That’s a wrap from Vegas.

What went down around the game on Friday & Saturday?

The Red Carpet saw stars & celebs break out their best fits, as they walked past the NBA Cup.

The Creator Cup saw some of the biggest names in all of social media square off – a few with some serious (sometimes even surprising?) game.

The first-ever Nike EYBL Scholastic Showcase brought together some of the best rising prospects in the U.S. on Friday & Saturday – including this bigtime Cooper Flagg dunk

Finally, before the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada put the medals on the Lakers on Saturday, both teams joined members of the NBA family for the  first-ever In-Season Tournament NBA Cares Legacy Project at ⁦⁩Reynolds Boys & Girls Club.