Magic Gaming’s remarkable turnaround might very well be the most intriguing storyline of the inaugural NBA 2K League season so far.
Winners of four straight after Friday night’s convincing 71-61 victory over Kings Guard Gaming in the opening round of the mid-season tournament, Magic Gaming has quickly emerged as one of the most entertaining and proficient teams in the league.
Similar to their three prior victories, the Magic used an efficient offensive attack, balanced scoring, tenacious defense and unselfishness to run past the Kings. Led by Jorge “marley213s” Renteria, who posted 19 points, four Magic Gaming players scored in double figures.
The Magic jumped out to an early 14-3 lead and shot a blistering 17-of-20 from the field in the first half. Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford, who recorded a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) and had a ferocious block in the final seconds of the first quarter, slammed home six of Magic Gaming’s 10 dunks. He also had four of his team’s 11 steals.
Christopher “KontruL” Cantrell, who made his first six shots, filled up the stat sheet with 18 points, six assists, two steals and one rebound. Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz, mostly a 3-point threat the last few games, did a lot of the facilitating in this contest. The 28-year-old from New York dished out 10 of the Magic’s 23 assists.
Magic Gaming did a terrific job shutting down the Kings’ backcourt of Eric “TimelyCook” Donald and Shane “Safiya4ya” Farrar, who combined to score 12 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the field and 0-of-4 from 3-point range.
For the third time this season, the Magic will square off against top-seeded Blazer5 Gaming in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Blazer5, which defeated Raptors Uprising GC in its first round matchup, won the prior two meetings. But both those games came before the Magic made their lineup changes, which helped incite this current winning streak.