The first NBA in-season tournament continues with group play and concludes Dec. 9 with the championship game. All 30 teams will participate in the group stage in three groups of five teams within each conference.
When is the NBA in-season tournament?
Group play began Nov. 3. Group play games will be held only on Tuesdays and Fridays in November, except for Nov. 7, which is Election Day and no games were played. Each team will play four group games: two home games and two road games. All games will count toward regular-season records and statistics.
NBA in-season tournament group play schedule
All game times listed in ET.
Celtics at Magic, 2:30 p.m. (NBA TV)Suns at Memphis, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)Heat at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)Bulls at Raptors, 7:30 p.m.Pistons at Pacers, 8 p.m.Nuggets at Rockets, 8 p.m.Wizards at Bucks, 8 p.m.Kings at Timberwolves, 8 p.m.Spurs at Warriors, 10 p.m. (ESPN)Pelicans at Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
Bucks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)Bulls at Celtics, 7:30 p.m.Raptors at Nets, 7:30 p.m.Hawks at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m.Hornets at Knicks, 7:30 p.m.Thunder at Timberwolves, 8 p.m.Rockets at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.Warriors at Kings, 10 p.m. (TNT)
NBA in-season tournament group play scores
Pacers 121, Cavaliers 116Bucks 110, Knicks 105Heat 121, Wizards 114Nets 109, Bulls 107Warriors 141, Thunder 139Trail Blazers 115, Grizzlies 113Nuggets 125, Mavericks 114
76ers 114, Pistons 106Hornets 124, Wizards 117Celtics 121, Nets 107Rockets 104, Pelicans 101Jazz 127, Grizzlies 121Timberwolves 117, Spurs 110Mavericks 144, Clippers 126Kings 105, Thunder 98Lakers 122, Suns 119
Heat 111, Hornets 105Hawks 126, Pistons 120Pacers 132, 76ers 126Thunder 123, Spurs 87Nets 124, Magic 104Pelicans 131, Mavericks 110Jazz 115, Trail Blazers 99Timberwolves 104, Warriors 101Nuggets 111, Clippers 108Lakers 134, Grizzlies 107
Bucks 130, Hornets 99Knicks 120, Wizards 99Kings 129, Spurs 12076ers 126, Hawks 116Cavaliers 108, Pistons 100Celtics 108, Raptors 105Magic 103, Bulls 97Pelicans 115, Nuggets 110Lakers 107, Trail Blazers 95Suns 131, Jazz 128Clippers 106, Rockets 100
Cavaliers 122, 76ers 119 (OT)Magic 126, Raptors 107Pacers 157, Hawks 152Suns 120, Trail Blazers 107Lakers 131, Jazz 99
NBA in-season tournament group play standings
East Group A
1. Indiana Pacers: 3-0, +16 (advanced to knockout round)2. Cleveland Cavaliers: 2-1, +63. Philadelphia 76ers: 2-2, +94. Atlanta Hawks: 1-2, -95. Detroit Pistons: 0-3, -22 (eliminated)
East Group B
1. Milwaukee Bucks: 2-0, +362. Miami Heat: 2-0, +133. New York Knicks: 1-1, +164. Charlotte Hornets: 1-2, -305. Washington Wizards: 0-3, -35 (eliminated)
East Group C
1. Boston Celtics: 2-0, +172. Brooklyn Nets: 2-1, +83. Orlando Magic: 2-1, +54. Chicago Bulls: 0-2, -85. Toronto Raptors: 0-2, -22
West Group A
1. Los Angeles Lakers: 4-0, +74 (advanced to knockout round)2. Phoenix Suns: 2-1, +133. Utah Jazz: 2-2, -134. Portland Trail Blazers: 1-3, -39 (eliminated)5. Memphis Grizzlies: 0-3, -35 (eliminated)
West Group B
1. New Orleans Pelicans: 2-1, +232. Denver Nuggets: 2-1, +93. Houston Rockets: 1-1, -34. Dallas Mavericks: 1-2, -145. Los Angeles Clippers: 1-2, -15
West Group C
1. Sacramento Kings: 2-0, +162. Minnesota Timberwolves: 2-0, +103. Golden State Warriors: 1-1, -14. Oklahoma City Thunder: 1-2, +275. San Antonio Spurs: 0-3, -52 (eliminated)
How does the NBA in-season tournament work?
The team with the best record in each group and two wild-card teams will advance to the knockout stage for a total of eight teams. The wild cards will be the team in each conference that finished with the best record in group play but was second in its group.
The four-game knockout round consists of single-elimination quarterfinals on Dec. 4-5 hosted by teams with the best group-play record. The quarterfinals will be televised on TNT with doubleheaders on Dec. 4-5.
The semifinals and championship will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 7 and 9, respectively. These games also will be televised nationally. The first semifinal will be on ESPN at 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 7, with the second game following at 9 p.m. ET on TNT. The championship will be at 8:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 9 and televised on ABC.
The championship game is the only game that will not count toward the regular-season record and statistics. For the two teams, it will count as Game 83, one more than every other teams’ 82-game slate.
The teams that do not advance to the knockout round will play two additional games on Dec. 6 and 8 to fill out their 82-game schedule. The teams that lose in the quarterfinals of the knockout round will play one additional regular-season game on Dec. 8.
A prize pool will be allocated to teams advancing to the knockout round, and the champion earns the NBA Cup trophy. An MVP of the in-season tournament will be named along with an All-Tournament Team based on performance throughout the group and knockout rounds.
What makes the NBA in-season tournament different than normal regular-season games?
There is a prize money pool for the teams that advance to at least the quarterfinals. Players on quarterfinal teams receive $50,000, with those who make it to the semifinals earning $100,000. Players on the runner-up team receive $200,000, and players on the in-season tournament-winning team earn $500,000.
Additionally, the NBA developed a special basketball court design for every team to use during group play and the knockout-round quarterfinals. These courts are completely painted in a color scheme distinct to each team with a unified design template. This is the first time in league history that an alternate court has been used for all 30 teams. The Celtics, Bulls, Lakers, Pelicans and Trail Blazers have never played on an alternate court in their franchise histories.
Teams unveiled their "City Edition" jerseys, which will be worn by the home team during in-season tournament games.
The NBA is on the verge of a new media rights deal, and the in-season tournament is something it can sell to television partners or streaming companies. The ramifications of a new big-money deal would benefit everyone involved with the NBA.
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