After a month’s worth of group-stage games, the field for the knockout portion of the NBA’s in-season tournament is set.
The Indiana Pacers will host the Boston Celtics on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the New Orleans Pelicans traveling to face the Sacramento Kings at 10. Then, Tuesday night will see a pair of group-stage rematches, with the New York Knicks traveling to face the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30, followed by the Phoenix Suns taking on the Los Angeles Lakers at 10.
The winners of each of those four quarterfinals will advance to the semifinals Dec. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with the Eastern Conference teams facing off at 5 p.m., followed by the Western Conference teams playing at 9. Then, the tournament’s championship game — with the winner getting to lift the NBA Cup for the first time and earning $500,000 for every player on its roster — will take place Dec. 9 at 8:30 p.m. (ABC).
In a twist, each of the four quarterfinals features a matchup that was already on the schedule four times this season — meaning all of them will now be played five times this season, one more than teams typically can play in a given season.
The 22 teams that did not advance will play one home game and one road game on Dec. 6 and Dec. 8, while the teams that lose in the quarterfinals will play each other on Dec. 8.
The NBA released the schedule for the other 22 teams early Wednesday morning, including a couple of marquee matchups. The Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs — featuring two of the league’s bright young stars in Anthony Edwards and Victor Wembanyama, and a matchup between Wembanyama and fellow Frenchman Rudy Gobert — will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 on ESPN, followed by the Denver Nuggets taking on the LA Clippers in a rematch of Denver’s stunning win without Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray on Sunday.
The Clippers then will be on ESPN again Friday night, when they face the Utah Jazz (10). Some of the other highlight games from the Wednesday and Friday slates: the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors at the Thunder on Friday.