NBA unveils the schedule for its in-season tournament. Its regular-season slate is coming Thursday
Updated 3:30 PM EDT, August 15, 2023
NEW YORK (AP) — The first basket of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament likely will be made in Indianapolis.
The league unveiled the 60-game schedule for group play of the new event on Tuesday — with the first game set to be Cleveland visiting Indiana on Nov. 3, the opener of what is scheduled to be seven games on that first night of matchups.
Each team will play four games in the group stage, with the winners of the six groups and two wild-card teams moving on to the single-elimination quarterfinals.
At stake: about $18 million in prize money. The tournament payouts for players on standard contracts will be $500,000 apiece for those on the winning team, $200,000 apiece for those on the runner-up, $100,000 apiece for those on the teams that lose semifinal games and $50,000 for those on the teams that lose in the quarterfinals.
Teams were assigned last month to a five-team group. They’ll play one game against each other as part of the tournament.
West Group A — Memphis, Phoenix, the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah and Portland.
West Group B — Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans, Dallas and Houston.
West Group C — Sacramento, Golden State, Minnesota, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
East Group A — Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Indiana and Detroit.
East Group B — Milwaukee, New York, Miami, Washington and Charlotte.
East Group C — Boston, Brooklyn, Toronto, Chicago and Orlando.
All games on Tuesdays and Fridays in November will be designated as tournament-game days. (That doesn’t include Nov. 7, when the league will not hold any games in observance of Election Day.)
There are 14 teams that will begin play on Nov. 3, and 13 teams will get their first tournament games in on Nov. 10.
Orlando and Atlanta won’t start their tournament schedules until Nov. 14, and Toronto doesn’t make its tournament debut until Nov. 17.
Another highlight: 10 games on the schedule for Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally one of the busiest holiday shopping days. That day’s slate starts with Boston visiting Orlando at 2:30 p.m. EST.
Quarterfinals will be played on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5. The semifinals are in Las Vegas on Dec. 7, and the championship game is there on Dec. 9.
Every tournament game will count as a regular-season game in the standings — except for the championship game.
Teams will get their regular-season schedules and national broadcast schedules on Thursday.
Those lists will have only 80 games. The two games missing from each team’s schedule will be played in December — either as part of the tournament, or for the 22 teams that don’t qualify for the knockout round, as added regular-season games that will be scheduled for Dec. 6 and Dec. 8.
Nov. 3 — Cleveland at Indiana, New York at Milwaukee, Dallas at Denver, Washington at Miami, Brooklyn at Chicago, Golden State at Oklahoma City, Memphis at Portland.
Nov. 7 — No games, Election Day.
Nov. 10 — Brooklyn at Boston, LA Lakers at Phoenix, Philadelphia at Detroit, Charlotte at Washington, New Orleans at Houston, Utah at Memphis, Minnesota at San Antonio, LA Clippers at Dallas, Oklahoma City at Sacramento.
Nov. 14 — San Antonio at Oklahoma City, LA Clippers at Denver, Miami at Charlotte, Atlanta at Detroit, Indiana at Philadelphia, Orlando at Brooklyn, Dallas at New Orleans, Portland at Utah, Minnesota at Golden State, Memphis at LA Lakers.
Nov. 17 — Sacramento at San Antonio, Phoenix at Utah, Milwaukee at Charlotte, New York at Washington, Philadelphia at Atlanta, Detroit at Cleveland, Boston at Toronto, Orlando at Chicago, Denver at New Orleans, LA Lakers at Portland, Houston at LA Clippers.
Nov. 21 — Cleveland at Philadelphia, Utah at LA Lakers, Toronto at Orlando, Indiana at Atlanta, Portland at Phoenix.
Nov. 24 — Boston at Orlando, Phoenix at Memphis, Miami at New York, San Antonio at Golden State, Chicago at Toronto, Detroit at Indiana, Denver at Houston, Washington at Milwaukee, Sacramento at Minnesota, New Orleans at LA Clippers.
Nov. 28 — Milwaukee at Miami, Golden State at Sacramento, Chicago at Boston, Toronto at Brooklyn, Atlanta at Cleveland, Charlotte at New York, Oklahoma City at Minnesota, Houston at Dallas.
Dec. 4 and 5 — Quarterfinals at team sites.
Dec. 6 — Regular-season games TBA.
Dec. 7 — Semifinals in Las Vegas.
Dec. 8 — Regular-season games TBA.
Dec. 9 — Championship in Las Vegas.
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