NBA unveils the schedule for its in-season tournament. Its regular-season slate is coming Thursday

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dribbles the ball during an NBA basketball playoff series game against the Miami Heat on April 24 in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File)

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.

Tournament schedule

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.

Knockout rounds

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.

Season schedule

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.

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