ORLANDO – Magic Gaming’s goal this week is to sharpen up and build confidence ahead of next week’s win-or-go-home TICKET tournament. They certainly did that on Tuesday night in its second-to-last regular season series, sweeping Pacers Gaming behind balanced scoring and tenacious defense.
Game 1: Magic Gaming built a 19-point lead going into intermission and were able to come up with enough stops down the stretch to prevent Pacers Gaming from pulling off the comeback in Orlando’s 63-58 victory. Brendan “Reizey” Hill registered 29 points on 13-of-18 overall shooting and 3-of-5 3-point shooting. Last year’s Rookie of the Year connected on a big driving layup with a little under two minutes left to help seal the win.
Alex “Profusion” Snowden, the Magic’s 2020 second round draft pick, was back in the lineup and had a huge first half. That was when he scored all 11 of his points, nine of which came from 3-point range.
The Magic, who take pride in being one of the league’s best defensive teams, rejected seven shots and collected nine steals. Daniel “DT” Tlais had five of those blocks and two of the steals. Robert “May” May swatted away two shots and his defense, as it tends to be, was stifling in the late stages of the game.
“I thought May had a phenomenal fourth quarter defensively for us,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said.
Nicolas “Swizurk” Grech was the lone bright spot for Indiana. The California native, who erupted for 36 points, was the only Pacer to score in double figures.
Game 2: Just like in its Game 1 victory, Magic Gaming came out firing on all cylinders. Again, Orlando led by 19 at halftime. But unlike the opener, the Magic didn’t allow the Pacers to creep back into the game as they cruised to a 79-60 triumph to complete the series sweep.
Most impressive was that all five players scored in double figures, a rarity in the NBA 2K League. Reizey led the way with 21 points, while Profusion scored 20. DT stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush posted 14 points and May chipped in with 10.
The Magic kept their foot on the gas pedal coming out of the break, outscoring the Pacers by six in the third quarter. Orlando was scorching all game from downtown. As a team it hit 15 of its 22 3-point tries, with Profusion knocking down six of them and ToXsiK, the Magic’s most reliable 3-point shooter this season, burying four from deep.
Key Stats: In the two games combined, the Pacers turned the ball over 26 times, which led to many transition buckets for the Magic. Reizey, meanwhile, won the point guard battle over Eddy “BOHIO” Perez, the fourth overall pick in the 2020 draft. Reizey scored 29 points in Game 1, while BOHIO had just seven. It was basically the same result in the series finale, as Orlando’s floor general racked up 21 points and Indiana’s lead guard had only four.
Quote of the Night: “I thought Profusion was phenomenal tonight. We’ve really been working on his game the last several weeks. We’ve been slowly trying to get him reacclimated and back to his former self and I thought he did great. It is so vital for us, a team that’s not exactly the best on offense that we can distribute the ball like that. I think it makes us a really, really tough team to beat because we are already really good defensively, so when we are doing things right on offense, we are going to be a hard team to beat.” – Edwards on everyone getting involved on offense
Up Next: The Magic’s final regular season series will take place on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. against T-Wolves Gaming, the defending NBA 2K League champions. This matchup was originally postponed a couple weeks ago. The T-Wolves, who are led by their point guard, Michael “BearDaBeast” Key, will likely have a lot to play for as they are still in the mix to qualify for the playoffs without having to rely on THE TICKET. The top nine teams in the regular season standings will advance to the playoffs. The winner of THE TICKET will join them.