ORLANDO – After an inconsistent showing in the group play portion of the NBA 2K League’s SLAM OPEN, Magic Gaming was hoping to answer with a strong start to the double-elimination bracket play part of the 3v3 tournament.
Unfortunately for Orlando, it let plenty of opportunities slip away as it dropped a 3-1 series to 76ers GC on Tuesday night.
“It’s hard not to feel like we let this one slip away,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “Personally, I felt like we knew everything they were doing before they were doing it. We had a great game plan. I felt like the guys really bought into the game plan and we played it well. Of course, there are mistakes in a game, but we had every opportunity to win this one.”
Game 1: Magic Gaming had a number of opportunities to put themselves in position to claim the series opener, but came up short in a 22-20 loss to 76ers GC. Philadelphia point guard Andre “Dre” Marshall led his squad with 15 points.
Point guard Joshua “unguardable” Hunter posted a contest-best 16 points for Orlando.
Game 2: Magic Gaming answered back in the second contest of this series by putting forth one of their best performances of the season in a 22-14 victory over 76ers GC. Orlando set the tone right out of the gate as it opened the contest on a 14-2 run. Unguardable and power forward Matthew “Matty” Grant each put up 10 points.
“That’s the team we can be every single game,” said Jarvis “Simptoms” Thompson, who played small forward for Orlando this series. “Every single game that could be us. We just have to go out there and execute.”
Game 3: The third contest of this series featured another tight-knit back-and-forth battle. Ultimately for Magic Gaming, Dre’s game-high 13-point effort was too much to overcome as Philadelphia handed Orlando a 22-19 defeat.
Unguardable scored nine and Simptoms added seven.
Game 4: After a slow start to the contest, Magic Gaming went on a late run to climb within striking distance, but ultimately fell short in a 23-18 loss to 76ers GC.
Dre fired off a game-high 13 points, while small forward Elijah “UnderRatedGoat” Spears added eight for Philadelphia.
Unguardable led Orlando with 10 points, while Simptoms poured in six.
“We took it on the chin tonight,” said Simptoms. “We have to move on and get better tomorrow. Like I said that team you saw in the second game, we can be every single game, every single night. We have to go out there and believe that. We’ll do whatever it takes.”
Up Next: After dropping the opener of remote bracket play, Magic Gaming will now need to win three straight contests in order to advance to the in-person portion of the SLAM OPEN in Washington D.C.
Orlando will look to keep those hopes alive when they face the loser of the Kings Guard Gaming and Jazz Gaming series on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. ET.
“This is not uncharted waters for us,” said Edwards. “This time last year we were in a very, very similar position. The message is we’ve done this before. We know what it feels like. We know what it takes. We know the work and preparation it takes to get where we want to be.”