Magic Gaming Defeats Hawks Talon GC for Third Straight 3v3 Victory

The Lead: 

For Magic Gaming, it’s starting to become the tale of two seasons. There was the pre-trade for Joshua “unguardable” Hunter and then, the post-trade for the dynamic scorer. Prior to acquiring the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NBA 2K League Draft, Orlando sat at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings in both 5v5 and 3v3 play. It had also yet to win a deciding game five in 3v3 action, going 0-5 prior to the trade and dropping one more (0-6) on the first day of unguardable’s arrival. But since he’s had a chance to assimilate with his new teammates, my oh my, how the times have changed. Magic Gaming has not only won three straight contests, but with their 3v3 seed week victory over Hawks Talon GC on Tuesday, they’ve also emerged triumphant in their last two series that have gone the distance.

“Every win is a morale booster for sure because we haven’t been winning much,” said unguardable. “But it just boosts the room. You can tell the energy (and) the room is turning around.”

Game 1: 

Two of the finalists for the most recent NBA 2K League’s Player of the Week award were Orlando’s unguardable and Atlanta’s Caesar “Ceez” Martinez. While Ceez came away with the trophy for his stellar showing in the opening week of 3v3 play, unguardable let it be known from the opening contest of their 3v3 matchup on Tuesday that he was, at minimum, equally worthy of the award.

Magic Gaming’s point guard erupted for a game-high 15 points as Orlando never trailed in a 22-13 victory over Hawks Talon GC. Magic Gaming center Robert “May” May notched four points and six rebounds.

Ceez finished with a team-high 11 points for Atlanta.

“We have such a clear identity and playstyle (in 3v3) that we’re able to get a lot of threes up, May’s able to rebound effectively, we’re able to get free twos when we need to when we dump it down to him, and we let Matt (Matthew “Matty” Grant) play defense,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “When you’re able to do that, you’re just going to be effective. Josh was getting threes up at will and open shots.”

Game 2: 

Magic Gaming came out in the second contest of the series and dominated from wire-to-wire in a commanding 23-6 victory over Hawks Talon GC.

Unguardable torched Atlanta to the tune of 17 points. May notched four points, four rebounds and two assists, while Matty added two points and two steals. Matty, Orlando’s lockdown defender, also did a tremendous job on Ceez, limiting Atlanta’s point guard to three points.

Game 3: 

It looked as if Magic Gaming was going to walk away with a series sweep, but Hawks Talon GC came up with a few stops down the stretch and Bryson “Putback” Fleming drained a game-winning triple to give Atlanta a 22-20 victory over Orlando.

Ceez had a strong showing, firing off a contest-best 17 points for Atlanta.

May tallied 10 points and four rebounds, and unguardable posted 10 points and three assists for Orlando.

Game 4: 

After heating up in game three, Ceez carried his torrid pace into the fourth contest of the series. Atlanta’s point guard erupted for 20 points to help Hawks Talon GC hand Magic Gaming a 22-16 defeat.

Unguardable recorded eight points and four assists, while May put up eight points and two rebounds for Orlando.

Game 5: 

Early in the season, these deciding contests were the Achilles heel for Magic Gaming. But they are no longer. Unguardable adjusted to the double teams Atlanta was sending his way and turned into a playmaker to help Orlando claim the series with a 22-14 victory.

May racked up 10 points and three rebounds, Matty scored six, and unguardable tallied six points and seven assists in the win.

“A lot of teams are going to realize you can’t leave me one-on-one with anybody,” said unguardable. “Naturally, everybody is going to gravitate towards double-teaming. With (May) inside, it’s almost a guaranteed two every time. So, it’s really pick your poison. You pick leaving your lock on an island one-on-one or give up a free two.”

Quote to Note: 

“It feels good to get some wins, for sure. Josh mentioned it, but we’re definitely feeling the momentum right now. It’s carrying over into the vibe in the room. There’s just a lot of hope and optimism around our trip to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks.” – Edwards on the team’s outlook

Up Next: 

Magic Gaming will get their first look at a Western Conference opponent in 3v3 action when they go head-to-head with Cavs Legion GC on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Like Orlando, Cleveland has been boosted by a mid-season trade as its acquisition of Antoine “Antoine” Featherstone from Warriors Gaming Squad has helped put Cavs Legion GC in position to qualify for the playoffs without help from THE STEAL, the league’s final 3v3 tournament of the season.

“Antoine is really good,” said Edwards. “They’re in a kind of similar situation to us. They made this big blockbuster deal (and) they’re greatly improved since they made it. So, they’re going to be a challenge for sure.”

How to Watch: 

Fans can watch games live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Games will also be available on Dash Radio, eGG Network in Southeast Asia, Loco in India, and Sport1 in Europe.