Hornets Venom GT continued its stellar debut season, Pacers Gaming picked up a big win against the defending champs, Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai clawed back to .500 and Jazz Gaming took down a previously undefeated foe in last night’s NBA 2K League action.
Hornets Venom GT def. Celtics Crossover, 2-1
In a surprising lineup change, MelEast didn’t start for Celtics Crossover Gaming for the first time since he was drafted in 2018. Instead, it was Bulley who assumed lockdown duties, appearing on the 2-way sharpshooter build at shooting guard. oFab went off for 44 points and 11 assists while TooxCool corralled 20 rebounds en route to a game one victory. Boston never let game two get out of hand, keeping the Hornets within striking distance, but couldn’t string together a large enough run to take the lead. In game three, Boston found themselves down double-digits early and never recovered, making this their fourth game-three loss, dropping their record to 0-6. The Celtics have another tough test coming soon, as they’re slated to face off with Raptors Uprising GC on Friday evening.
After dropping game one, Hornets Venom won a close game two, setting the stage for a decisive game three. Charlotte managed to get out to a double-digit lead early and rode it to the final buzzer of the series, improving their record to 5-2. The most impressive part of the series was how well the Hornets were able to spread the wealth offensively: Snubby, Expose, Zae and Type all averaged double-digit scoring totals, with Snubby leading the way at 25 points per game.
It’s a common theme for Charlotte to have multiple players scoring efficiently and a big reason the team is so successful. When you have four players that are true threats to create and score on their own, how do you guard everybody? Next up for Charlotte is Jazz Gaming on Friday night.
Pacers Gaming def. T-Wolves Gaming, 2-0
Behind a complete team effort, Pacers Gaming shattered outside expectations with an impressive sweep of the defending champions. Indiana’s willingness to move away from the meta and confidently use two locks kept the Minnesota duo of BearDaBeast and JMoney on their heels all night. The backcourt ultimately finished with eight total turnovers.
Each contest in the series went down the wire, with game one needing an extra quarter to decide a winner. In that opening matchup, the Pacers heavily relied on Swizurk to create opportunities in the half-court. The power forward finished with 22 points and shot 50% from outside. On the defensive end, Indiana schemed Bear into taking 35 shots, but limited his field goal percentage to 45%, including 0-for-7 from three.
After hitting a dagger three to seal game one, Bohio carried over that momentum into game two, and ended up averaging 19.5 points and 4.5 assists on the night. With their confidence brewing, the Pacers began game two on a 10-0 run and never looked back. In a matchup between two Finals MVPs, NateKahl did a great job of getting into Bear’s space all night. However, it was his outside shooting—especially on the fast break—that helped Pacers Gaming keep Minnesota at bay. The veteran lockdown defender finished shooting 60% from three.
The Pacers look to keep it rolling tomorrow against Bucks Gaming, while Minnesota will now turn its attention to the Tipoff tournament next week.
Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai def. Blazer5 Gaming, 2-0
The Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai shot the lights out and overwhelmed Blazer5 Gaming en route to a convincing 2-0 sweep. Gen.G continued to tinker with its lineup, putting Deadeye at center to hold off Portland’s OneWildwalnut. Drafted No. 21 in the first round of the 2020 draft, Deadeye’s versatility has allowed Gen.G to previously deploy him at shooting guard or power forward. He finished the night averaging 14.5 points and 16 rebounds to go along with 4 blocks.
On a night full of comebacks, the Tigers stole game one with a 53-28 second half. Despite a poor shooting start, Shiftykaii was unconscious in the fourth quarter, sinking five of his last six attempts from outside. The Rookie of the Year candidate caused a stir when he switched to the offensive threat build, but remained a demon on the offensive end, finishing with 33 points.
The hot shooting spread like wildfire as the rest of the team came alive from deep in game two. With Portland trying to get the ball out of Shiftykaii’s hands, Gen knocked down most of his opportunities, finishing with 10 3-pointers. Overall, the entire team sunk 22 of 33 outside attempts.
While Mama Im Dat Man had a decent game for the Blazers, the rest of the team’s identity seems to be in limbo. Hood hasn’t fit in the way Portland was hoping, Majes7ic struggled with his shot, and the frontcourt of Lavish and Walnut couldn’t find a consistent rhythm.
It does not get any easier for Portland as they take on the 7-0 Raptors. Meanwhile, the Tigers will go back to the film as they prepare for this same Blazer5 squad for the opening round of the Tipoff tournament.
Jazz Gaming def. Warriors Gaming Squad, 2-1
After a back and forth affair, Jazz Gaming earned the honor of being the first team to take down Warriors Gaming Squad this season. The Jazz took the first game 74-61 on the back of its confident rookie point guard, Splashy. Averaging 22.7 points on 50% shooting in Utah’s last two wins, Splashy had the best shooting game of his young career to open the series, finishing with 44 points and shooting 77% from the field. This included nine 3-pointers on 11 attempts.
With CB13 taking better care of the ball, the Warriors got off to a stronger start in game two. This time, he would get additional scoring support from Bsmoove and Slaughter who combined for 25 points on 19 shot attempts. Late in the game, Slaughter would come up huge against his former team, drawing a charge that resulted in a technical free throw. With CB13 following that up with a three, the Warriors extended their one-possession lead to seven points. Despite this, Jazz Gaming would not go away and were ultimately able to force a key turnover with under 20 seconds remaining and only down three. Splashy would initially hunt for a three but was instead steered into the paint and missed a contested layup.
While game three started off close like the previous two matchups, Splashy once again got hot, rattling a series of deep jumpers in the second half to build a lead Utah would not surrender. The difference-maker may have been the 3-point attempt differential between the teams throughout the series, with Utah putting up 35 threes while the Warriors attempted only 13.