Magic Gaming went the series distance with the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai on Friday night in group play of the SLAM OPEN, the first of three 3v3 tournaments in 2022 as part of the Coinbase BLACKTOP SERIES, before coming up short in a decisive Game 5.
Darjean “ReturnofDJ” Henderson made one shot in this contest and it came on the last possession, as his 3-pointer off a kickout from Jaiden “OTTR” Frank gave Gen.G a 21-15 victory. Justin “Snubby” Stemerman led Magic Gaming with 11 points, while Robert “May” May had four points. OTTR led the Tigers with 11 points and three assists.
The Magic seized momentum early and never relinquished it in a 21-10 victory. Snubby scored nine points, Matthew “Matty” Grant tallied eight points, including a big driving dunk late, and May sealed it with a layup. Gen.G made just four of their seven shots overall and two of their four 3-point tries.
Orlando executed well down the stretch, as Matty and Snubby hit back-to-back 3-pointers on their final two possessions to propel the Magic to a 23-21 victory. Snubby recorded 12 points and three assists, while May registered eight points and four rebounds.
The Magic got within striking distance late but were unable to complete the comeback as OTTR, who finished with 16 points, buried a game-sealing 3-pointer in the Tigers’ 23-17 win. Matty led the way for Orlando with eight points, while May filled up the box score with six points, five rebounds and two assists.
Unlike in some of the earlier games in this series, the Magic were unable to get into a rhythm, as Gen.G. took control early and cruised to a series-clinching 21-11 victory. OTTR was most effective as a facilitator in this contest, racking up four assists. May, meanwhile, had his best scoring game of the tournament with nine points.
May made 15 of his 16 shot attempts in the five games combined. Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said afterwards they had switched May’s build for this series, which helped him get more involved in the offense.
Quote of the Night
“We’ve been practicing three v. three as much as we can. I feel like moving towards the second week of it, we will prioritize watching these other teams more, especially the amateur team because coming in we could only watch their retail film. We couldn’t really watch them in the 2K League. I actually think with three v. three, the games go by quick, but you definitely can pick up tendencies, especially the guards and what they look for, when they want to dunk, when they want to shoot, when they want to pass. I think that’s something we are going to try to use to help us get some wins next week.” – May
Magic Gaming will have the opportunity to earn some revenge against each of the opponents they lost to this week, starting with Grizz Gaming on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Memphis beat Orlando in their first best-of-five series 3-1. Currently, Handlez, one of the best amateur teams on the circuit, is the only squad from Group 1 yet to lose a series. The top two teams from each of the eight groups in the SLAM OPEN during remote play will advance to the round-of-16 in-person bracket play at the NBA 2K League Studio in Indianapolis.