After the first day of “The Ticket,” the final in-season tournament for the NBA 2k League’s second season, offered an overtime game and a couple of upsets, the round of 16 built on that excitement on Friday, June 14.
Friday’s slate consisted of six contests, all which put the winners in the quarterfinal round of games to be played on the tournament’s final day, Saturday, June 15. Dwindling the field of 16 down to eight boasted hard-fought contests which defied the tournament’s seeding because of what was at stake. The team that wins The Ticket will receive 1/3 of the Banner Chain Trophy, the biggest share of a $180,000 prize pot and a guaranteed spot in the league’s playoffs this year.
16) Heat Check Gaming 53, 1) Blazer5 Gaming 50
After pulling off a comparatively more meager upset on Thursday, Heat Check Gaming sent Blazer5 Gaming to another early exit in tournament play to start out Friday’s action. The contest had a thrilling finish, with Blazer5 Gaming having three clean looks at the basket from 3-point range that didn’t fall. Blazer5 Gaming struggled from distance all game long, going just 8/20 and it also struggled to contain Heat Check Gaming power forward Hotshot, who scored a season-high 34 points on 15/25 shooting. With the win, Heat Check Gaming moves on to face the other team from Fla., Magic Gaming, in the quarterfinals.
15) Knicks Gaming 65, 2) Mavs Gaming 63
Mavs Gaming came into The Ticket as the only other team to have a 10-game winning streak besides Blazer5 Gaming and like Blazer5 Gaming, wouldn’t last long in the tournament. Knicks Gaming got another clutch performance from small forward OriginalMalik. Knicks Gaming led for most of the first three quarters but a Mavs Gaming run put them up six early in the fourth. That’s when the team that won The Ticket in the NBA 2k League’s first season turned it on from downtown, with OriginalMalik hitting the jumper to put his team up for good with less than a minute remaining. OriginalMalik finished with 26 points to lead all scorers. Knicks Gaming will play Cavs Legion GC on Saturday for a spot in the semifinals.
14) Pacers Gaming 61, 3) NetsGC 50
After making lineup changes that vastly improved their defense in Pacers Gaming’s Thursday win, Pacers Gaming stuck with the lineup on Friday and it paid off again. Pacers Gaming held NetsGC to just 4/14 shooting from 3-point range and point guard Swizurk had another stellar game, leading all scorers with 24 points as Pacers Gaming stayed in control of this one pretty much throughout. Pacers Gaming would get to relax after the win, as they would have to wait for the final game on Friday between 76ersGC and Kings Guard Gaming to see who they would face in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
13) Raptors Uprising GC 50, 4) Celtics Crossover Gaming 48
Celtics Crossover Gaming came in with a reputation of being one of the league’s best tournament teams but that wouldn’t prove true this time thanks to Raptors Uprising GC’s fourth-quarter explosion. After being held to just 17 points combined in the second and third frames, Raptors Uprising GC poured on 22 points in the final six minutes to erase a 10-point deficit. Raptors Uprising GC center Sick x 973 recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Raptors Uprising GC joined Pacers Gaming in the gallery to see who they would face on Saturday, with that to be determined in the very next contest.
5) Warriors Gaming Squad 58, 12) T-Wolves Gaming 52
Warriors Gaming Squad called upon its experience winning The Turn tournament earlier this season to avoid becoming the fifth-consecutive top seed to be upset, although it looked like that might be the case earlier in the game. T-Wolves Gaming limited Warriors Gaming Squad to just nine points in the first quarter and held a 27-21 advantage at the half. Warriors Gaming Squad shooting guard Gradient ended up with 19 points to help his team complete the comeback and survive to face Raptors Uprising GC with a spot in the semis on the line.
6) 76ers GC 79, 11) Kings Guard Gaming 50
With the eighth and final spot in Saturday’s quarterfinals on the line, 76ers GC didn’t leave any doubt. Scoring at least 18 points in every quarter, 76ers GC got double-doubles from center Steez (14 points, 10 rebounds) and point guard Radiant (28 points, 14 assists). As a team, 76ers GC went 32/42 from the field, including 10/14 from 3-point range. The team that won The Tipoff tournament earlier this season, 76ers GC will continue its run to try to get another segment of the Banner Chain on Saturday against Pacers Gaming.
Schedule for Saturday, June 15
Saturday’s action will dwindle the field of remaining teams down to a champion, with the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship game all slated for the day’s action. All times listed are Eastern and all games can be streamed live for free on the NBA 2k League Twitch and YouTube channels.
Heat Check Gaming 49 at Magic Gaming 55
Knicks Gaming 64 at Cavs Legion GC 58
Pacers Gaming 65 at 76ers GC 61
Raptors Uprising GC 52 at Warriors Gaming Squad 54
Magic Gaming 56 at Warriors Gaming Squad 58
Knicks Gaming 44 at Pacers Gaming 50, 8 p.m.
Pacers Gaming at Warriors Gaming Squad, 9 p.m.