Seemingly on the verge of seizing the momentum on Thursday night against Cavs Legion GC, a pair of technical malfunctions in the middle of the third quarter forced Magic Gaming to regroup at a critical juncture of the game.
Unable to get back into the same rhythm that helped them erase a double-digit first-half deficit, the Magic weren’t able to string together enough of a run down the stretch in their 59-57 loss.
“It was just one of those games where we were able to crawl our way back and the technical difficulties really killed us,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “We had in our eyes a little bit of (momentum). 2K is very much a momentum-based game so once you get rolling, the game will let you do a lot so we were going into the second half really feeling good and those difficulties hit.”
Despite the pause in the action, the Magic hung tough until the final buzzer after falling behind by six with under three minutes left. Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford had a pair of dunks, one with 1:40 left and another with 51 seconds remaining that pulled the Magic within two.
William “Strainer” Morales, Cleveland’s third round pick in last month’s draft, responded for the Cavs by slamming home a dunk of his own with 34 seconds left to extend their lead back to four.
Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz converted on a layup on Orlando’s ensuing possession, but the Magic weren’t able to inch any closer.
KingCamRoyalty put together another strong performance, going for 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Mykel “KelMav” Wilson recorded 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. Brendan “Reizey” Hill, meanwhile, did a great job setting up his teammates, totaling 14 assists to go along with his 11 points.
“The way we played today was really, really good,” Edwards said. “I think that our guards were shooting well especially in the first half when they were in rhythm and I think for the most part we controlled the ball and controlled the pace, which is what we are going to need to do every game.”
The Magic will get a chance to bounce back when they return to action on Friday against a familiar opponent, NetsGC, a team they defeated during group pool play of THE TIPOFF.