Magic Gaming Loses to Knicks Gaming and Blazer5 Gaming in Pair of SLAM OPEN Series
March 16, 2023
ORLANDO – With little break time between the two series, Magic Gaming first lost a hard-fought battle to Knicks Gaming that went the distance and then lost in a sweep to Blazer5 Gaming in group play of the 3v3 SLAM OPEN on Thursday night.
Magic Gaming Takes Knicks Gaming to Five Games But Loses Series Finale in Heartbreaking Fashion
Game 1: Magic Gaming got balanced scoring in the opener, as Joshua “unguardable” Hunter tallied nine points and Robert “May” May, who made the game-winning dunk, and Matthew “Matty” Grant each had six in a 21-17 victory.
Orlando was up 19-11 before New York stormed back and cut the deficit to two. The Knicks even had a chance to tie it or take the lead, but unguardable intercepted a pass from Malik “OriginalMalik” Hobson on the possession before May’s winning dunk.
Game 2: Twos kept the game close nearly the whole way, but a three from OriginalMalik ended it, as Knicks Gaming secured a 24-22 victory.
An unguardable triple put Orlando up 20-19. Ethan “Radiant” White and May exchanged dunks before OriginalMalik’s sealer.
OriginalMalik scored 15 for New York, while May led Orlando with 10 points and unguardable had eight points with five dimes.
Game 3: The Magic controlled momentum from the start and completed a 22-17 win with an unguardable jumper from just inside the 3-point line.
Unguardable was highly efficient in this contest, finishing with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from 3-point range. Matty added six points, with both of his field goals coming from downtown.
The Knicks connected on just one of their four 3-point attempts.
Game 4: This one was nip and tuck throughout, as the Magic pulled within one at 19-18 with a May slam. But, despite getting the ball out of OriginalMalik’s hands, Radiant came up clutch with a game-winning long two in New York’s 21-18 victory.
Until then, OriginalMalik scored all the Knicks’ points, finishing with 19. Unguardable registered 10 points for Orlando and May had eight with five rebounds.
Game 5: Game 5 hung in the balance until the final moments. Both teams made huge defensive plays late, but ultimately, it was OriginalMalik who catapulted the Knicks to a 25-21 victory with a dunk and series-sealing 3-pointer on New York’s final two possessions.
Prior to that three, OriginalMalik forced a jump-ball tie-up, which gave the Knicks the ball while up one. Matty had a big steal late to keep the Magic’s hopes alive. Unguardable, who scored 13 points, would hit a triple shortly after to give the Magic a 21-20 lead before New York reclaimed control.
“It was a really back-and-forth series with a pretty tough team,” Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “I think we had some unlucky moments, we felt like, and definitely we still had opportunities to take advantage and win the series and we let it kind of slip through the fingers.”
Magic Gaming Swept by Blazer5 Gaming in Nightcap
Game 1: Blazer5 Gaming took control early in the opener and Andron “Lavish” Thomas wrapped up Portland’s 22-14 victory with a corner 3-pointer.
Unguardable struggled with his shooting, making just two of his six shots, all from 3-point distance. May posted six points, four rebounds and two steals.
Isaiah “Harby” Harbinson led Blazer5 with 12 points.
Game 2: The Magic needed to keep Blazer5 inside the 3-point line on the last possession, but that didn’t happen, as Jomar “Jomar” Varela-Escapa knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer in Portland’s 21-19 victory.
Harby led Portland with 11 points. Unguardable scored 12 for Orlando, while Matty had five points.
Game 3: Having to overcome a 2-0 series deficit was too tall of a mountain to climb, as Orlando fell 22-19 in the series finale.
Just like Game 2, Lavish hit a corner 3-pointer to end it.
Harby led Portland with 13 points and four assists. Unguardable registered eight points and five assists, while May filled up the box score with six points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal.
“My point was (to the team after the game), the tournament we are going to be playing next week is double elimination, so the fact that you kind of rally and come right back…and try to punch them in the mouth again,” Edwards said. “That’s the biggest message…we work too hard to just roll over here.”
Magic Gaming will have group play rematches with Warriors Gaming Squad and Wizards District Gaming on Friday. The Golden State matchup begins at 6 p.m. ET, while the one versus Washington starts at 8:15 p.m. ET. Orlando lost in four games to both teams last week.
“Just try to get over this hump,” Edwards said. “I think once we get some W’s in the column we are going to be a really good team. I can tell you from scrimmage results this week, we are winning like 70, 80 percent of games. It’s just not translating right now.”