The first NBA in-season tournament continues Tuesday 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.
The groups were decided by a random draw in July. Here are the groups:
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Clippers
New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs
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When does the NBA in-season tournament start?
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.
Pacers 121, Cavaliers 116
Bucks 110, Knicks 105
Heat 121, Wizards 114
Nets 109, Bulls 107
Warriors 141, Thunder 139
Trail Blazers 115, Grizzlies 113
Nuggets 125, Mavericks 114
76ers 114, Pistons 106
Hornets 124, Wizards 117
Celtics 121, Nets 107
Rockets 104, Pelicans 101
Jazz 127, Grizzlies 121
Timberwolves 117, Spurs 110
Mavericks 144, Clippers 126
Kings 105, Thunder 98
Lakers 122, Suns 119
Heat at Hornets, 7 p.m.
Hawks at Pistons, 7 p.m.
Pacers at 76ers, 7 p.m.
Spurs at Thunder, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
Magic at Nets, 7:30 p.m.
Mavericks at Pelicans, 8 p.m.
Trail Blazers at Jazz, 9 p.m.
Timberwolves at Warriors, 10 p.m.
Clippers at Nuggets, 10 p.m. (TNT)
Grizzlies at Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
Bucks at Hornets, 7 p.m.
Knicks at Wizards, 7 p.m.
Kings at Spurs, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
76ers at Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
Pistons at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m.
Celtics at Raptors, 7:30 p.m.
Magic at Bulls, 8 p.m.
Nuggets at Pelicans, 8 p.m.
Lakers at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.
Suns at Jazz, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Rockets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
Raptors at Magic, 7 p.m.
Cavaliers at 76ers, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
Pacers at Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
Trail Blazers at Suns, 9 p.m.
Jazz at Lakers, 10 p.m. (TNT)
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 standings
1. Philadelphia 76ers: 1-0, +8
2. Indiana Pacers: 1-0, +5
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: 0-1, -5
4. Detroit Pistons: 0-1, -8
5. Atlanta Hawks: 0-0, 0
1. Charlotte Hornets: 1-0, +7
1. Miami Heat: 1-0, +7
3. Milwaukee Bucks: 1-0, +5
4. New York Knicks: 0-1, -5
5. Washington Wizards: 0-1, -14
1. Boston Celtics: 1-0, +14
2. Brooklyn Nets: 1-1, -12
3. Chicago Bulls: 0-1, -2
5. Toronto Raptors: 0-0, 0
5. Orlando Magic: 0-0, 0
1. Utah Jazz: 1-0, +6
2. Los Angeles Lakers: 1-0, +3
3. Portland Trail Blazers: 1-0, +2
4. Phoenix Suns: 0-1, -3
5. Memphis Grizzlies: 0-2, -8
1. Denver Nuggets: 1-0, +11
2. Houston Rockets: 1-0, +3
3. Dallas Mavericks: 1-1, +7
4. New Orleans Pelicans: 0-1, -3
5. Los Angeles Clippers: 0-1, -18
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: 1-0, +7
1. Sacramento Kings: 1-0, +7
3. Golden State Warriors: 1-0, +2
4. San Antonio Spurs: 0-1, -7
5. Oklahoma City Thunder: 0-2, -9
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 this week, 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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