ORLANDO – Magic Gaming was one of the grittiest and most resilient teams in the NBA 2K League in Seasons 1 and 2.
If Thursday night’s thrilling series win over Kings Guard Gaming was a glimpse of what lies ahead the rest of this season, the same will be true about this year’s squad.
The Magic, who made some lineup adjustments in this series, refused to let double-digit deficits, stingy Sacramento defense and a 50-point Game 2 blowout loss prevent them from snapping their five-game skid.
A dunk, a key offensive rebound and a big steal — all in the final minute — from Robert “May” May helped Orlando, which was down by as much as 11 in the second half, prevail in Game 1. Brendan “Reizey” Hill, playing shooting guard for the first time this season with Daniel “djbama” Burge getting the start at the one, led the Magic with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting overall and 5-of-6 from 3-point range. Alex “Profusion” Snowden, playing power forward, drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:43 left.
Game 3 had a similar finish. Trailing nearly the entire game and by as much as 10 in the third quarter, the Magic rallied late behind clutch buckets from djbama and stout defense from Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush. Djbama, following a steal by ToXsiK, converted on an AND-1 with 41 seconds left that gave the Magic the lead. Sacramento’s Matthew “Bash” Robles missed a potential game-tying floater just before time expired.
“The biggest thing is we just wanted to be within reach in this game,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “When we talk about the fact that we are working on stuff and we have stuff up our sleeves and we kind of pulled something out today, it’s nice to say we were working on this. The Kings have the best half-court defense in the league. Crush (Rafel Davis) is incredible. That fact that we were composed down the stretch, kudos to DJ, Reid, the rest of the team.”
The lineup changes seemed to help get everyone into more of a comfort zone. Reizey got hot from downtown in Game 1, Profusion consistently knocked down his corner threes and ToXsiK, known throughout the 2K community as one of the premier lockdown defenders, played terrific on-the ball defense against Bash for much of the series.
Djbama, meanwhile, stayed poised even though Crush, arguably the league’s best defender, played him tight all night long. Orlando’s rookie guard finished with a team-high 19 points in Game 3 and totaled 43 points in the three games combined.
“He did such an incredible job of controlling the pace,” Edwards said about the Magic’s 2020 fourth round draft pick. “He did a great job making sure everyone was calm and collected, which is really how DJ is all of the time.”
The Magic will now turn their attention to the TIPOFF tournament, which begins Tuesday, June 16. Orlando will face Kings Guard Gaming again in pool play, as well as Hawks Talon GC. All 23 teams will compete in the tournament remotely from their local markets for a total prize pool of $160,000 (USD) and the games will air live on ESPN2, ESPN’s digital platform and the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
Series Final Scores
Game 1: Magic 49, Kings 45
Game 2: Kings: 94, Magic 44
Game 3: Magic 53, Kings 51