Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic (20) defends LeBron James (23) during the IST quarterfinals (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Los Angeles Lakers’ In-Season Tournament (IST) run has highlighted the competitive energy and talents of the squad. With their 6-0 record, they reached the Semifinals.

Their wins during group play has helped the Lakers reach fourth place in the Western Conference. Prior to the In-Season Tournament, the Lakers had a 3-5 overall record. Their first group play game snapped a three-game losing streak.

“You got some of the most alpha male competitors in the world,” said Lakers forward LeBron James. “If you give us an opportunity for something, something meaningful with an incentive then you’ll get what you get.”

With their IST victories, the Lakers earned nine wins in November. The likes of forward Cam Reddish, guard Austin Reaves, and center Christian Wood have shown their talent and confidence.

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In their quarterfinal game against the Phoenix Suns, Reaves came off the bench to score 20 points and six rebounds. He also hit a game-deciding three-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation.

“Just from me wanting to be aggressive and just, like I always say, just play the game the right way,” Reaves said. “I just took the shot with confidence and made it.”

Players that were injured returned to make a difference, like forward Jarred Vanderbilt. Against the Suns in the quarterfinals, he gave the Lakers four offensive rebounds in under 15 minutes.

“That’s one of his super powers, to be able to get us extra possessions,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said. “Some guys just have that knack for hunting down the ball. The old term “they have a nose for the ball,” that totally applies to [Vanderbilt].”

Forward Rui Hachimura made 23 points in their 134-107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Everybody’s coming ready to play,” said Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell. “You see guys diving on the floor, a lot of bodies on the floor throughout the night. That just shows you how hard guys are playing for both teams.”

Russell scored 20 points in the fourth IST group play game, a 131-99 win over the Utah Jazz. The Lakers’ dynamic duo—LeBron James and Anthony Davis—remained a constant source of scoring throughout the IST.

James led in scoring with 31 points in the quarterfinals the same way he led the team with 32 points in their first IST group play game. Davis made a double-double in every IST game and the quarterfinals were no different; he scored 27 points and 15 rebounds to help eliminate the Suns.

His effort has helped make Davis second in the league in rebounds per game with 12.4, he still leads the league in blocks as of Thursday with 2.80.

“We want to generate more opportunities for ourselves not just limiting ourselves to one shot,” Davis said. “We got to give ourselves the chance to get the rebound and create more shots, whether it’s threes or putbacks.”

The Lakers will battle the New Orleans Pelicans in the IST Semifinals on December 7 at 6:00P.M.