The final in-season tournament of 2019 for the NBA 2k League got rolling on Thursday, June 13 and the action was befitting what was on the line. Prizes of 1/3 of the Banner Chain Trophy, a split of a $180,000 prize pot and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs to the winner are at stake in the three-day tourney.
Seven games were held on Thursday, with the first five being play-in games between the tournament’s bottom 10 teams. The final two contests of the night began the first round of play. Regardless of whether it was a play-in or first-round game, the action was exciting.
12) T-Wolves Gaming 61, 21) Pistons GT 53
The 2019 season’s woes continued for Pistons GT in the first game of The Ticket, as they managed just eight points in the second quarter to suffer yet another defeat after losing their last nine consecutive regular season games. Pistons GT was able to pull within eight in the fourth quarter but never could get any closer. T-Wolves Gaming center JoJo dropped 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds but was upstaged by his small forward teammate JMoneyRep 817 who led all scorers with 30. T-Wolves Gaming will face the tournament’s fifth seed, Warriors Gaming Squad, on Friday.
13) Raptors Uprising GC 54, 20) Lakers Gaming 50
The tournament continued to go according to the chalk in the second game but it got a lot tighter down the stretch. Lakers Gaming made up for only scoring 15 points in the second and third quarters combined by netting 22 in the fourth quarter, at one point trimming the Raptors Uprising GC lead to just four points. Raptors Uprising GC would ultimately hang on thanks to a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) by center Sick x 973 and 23 points by point guard Kenny Got Work. With the win, Raptors Uprising GC advances to face fourth-seeded Celtics Crossover Gaming Friday.
19) Heat Check Gaming 68, 14) Bucks Gaming 58
The first upset of the tournament came in the third game as Heat Check Gaming advanced to Friday by reversing its course from the regular season. Heat Check Gaming came in with a five-game losing streak in regular-season play but was up by double digits in most of this one. Heat Check Gaming power forward Hotshot had his best game in weeks, dropping 27 points on 12/19 shooting. As a reward for their win, Heat Check Gaming will face the tournament’s top seed Blazer5 Gaming in Friday’s first contest.
18) Knicks Gaming 78, 15) Jazz Gaming 72
Knicks Gaming was mysteriously without its most productive player of the 2019 season so far, G O O F Y 7 5 7, but it didn’t matter for the team which won this tournament in the first season. It took overtime to decide this contest and the win was put away by Knicks Gaming small forward OriginalMalik with a career-high 30 points, going 7/14 from 3-point range. Knicks Gaming center Idrisdagoat6 added 20 points and 15 rebounds to help send his team on to face Mavs Gaming in Friday’s second game.
16) Pacers Gaming 60, 17) Hawks Talon GC 53
Pacers Gaming made some lineup changes to improve their defense and it paid off. Swizurk moved to the point from small forward, letting Man In A Car take that spot. Pacers Gaming forced 11 turnovers and held Hawks Talon GC’s Arsonal to just five points, securing a Friday game with NetsGC. Ramo, starting at power forward instead of his usual center position for Pacers Gaming, dropped 22 points to lead all scorers in this contest.
7)Cavs Legion GC 61, 10)Wizards District 51
With all the play-in games completed, the round of 16 began with a spot in Saturday’s quarterfinals on the line. A tight contest led to a 26-23 lead at the half for Wizards District Gaming. Cavs Legion GC then invaded the District in the third quarter, forcing 14 turnovers and limiting Wizards District Gaming to just eight points in the frame. Cavs Legion would get all the offense it needed from a balanced attack that got four of its five players into double figures, led by small forward Strainer’s 18 points. Cavs Legion GC will face the winner of the 2-15 game, between Mavs Gaming and Knicks Gaming, on Saturday.
8) Magic Gaming 62, 9) Grizz Gaming 52
In front of their fans in their home city of Orlando, Fla., Magic Gaming came out playing stellar defense and limited Grizz Gaming to just three points in the first quarter. Helping the offensive effort to move his team on to Saturday’s action was Magic Gaming point guard Reizey, who dropped a career-high 32 points. Altogether Magic Gaming went 26/40 from the field, including 7/13 from 3-point range. They will face the winner of the 1/16 game between Blazer5 Gaming and Heat Check Gaming on Saturday.
Schedule for Friday, June 14
The winners of the play-in games on Thursday are re-seeded in ascending order to face the top five seeds in the tournament on Friday. The winners of all six games on Friday will advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals. All times listed are Eastern and all games can be streamed live for free on the NBA 2k League Twitch and YouTube channels.
16) Heat Check Gaming at 1) Blazer5 Gaming, 5 p.m.
15) Knicks Gaming at 2) Mavs Gaming, 6 p.m.
14) Pacers Gaming at 3) NetsGC, 7 p.m.
13) Raptors Uprising GC at 4) Celtics Crossover Gaming, 8 p.m.
12) T-Wolves Gaming at 5) Warriors Gaming Squad, 9 p.m.
11) Kings Guard Gaming at 6) 76ers GC, 10 p.m.