After Defeating Top-Seeded Pacers Gaming, Magic Gaming Eliminated From STEAL OPEN by Blazer5 Gaming
May 6, 2023
After defeating Pacers Gaming – the No. 1 seed in the tournament – early Saturday evening, Magic Gaming was one win away from punching their ticket to the NBA 2K League’s 3v3 playoffs and just two victories shy of winning their second straight STEAL OPEN banner title.
Unfortunately, Orlando came up short against Portland later in the night, and as a result, Magic Gaming’s 2023 3v3 season came to an end.
“It’s a little heartbreaking,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “I think we all believed it was possible and that we were going to win today. When you have that belief, it hurts when it doesn’t happen. I think the group is hurting a little bit, but ultimately, we’re proud of ourselves for getting to this point after how we performed over the duration of the season. We showed a lot of growth and improvement, and it showed in our game play over the last couple of weeks.”
Magic Gaming Knocks Off Top-Seeded Pacers Gaming with 3-2 Series Win
Game 1: Magic Gaming closed the series opener on a 9-0 run to pull off a thrilling 22-19 comeback victory over Pacers Gaming.
After Orlando failed to convert on four straight shot attempts, point guard Joshua “unguardable” Hunter was finally able to knock down the game-winning 3-pointer, capping off an 18-point outing.
Magic Gaming power forward Robert “May” May notched two points and five rebounds, while small forward Matthew “Matty” Grant added two points, two rebounds, and two assists.
Game 2: Turnovers on back-to-back possessions down the stretch proved to be too costly for Magic Gaming to overcome in a 22-17 defeat.
Former Orlando big man Blaine “BigReign” Wilson threw down the game-sealing slam for Indiana and finished with a contest-best 13 points.
Unguardable led Magic Gaming with 10 points.
Game 3: A tipped ball on a Magic Gaming inbounds pass led to a game-winning corner triple from Pacers Gaming small forward Julio “JaySnags” Laboy as Indiana emerged with a 25-21 triumph.
Pacers Gaming point guard Kory “Chess” Taylor posted a team-high 14 points, while JaySnags finished with nine.
Unguardable fired off a game-high 15 points for Orlando.
Game 4: May only took one shot in this outing but he certainly made it count. Orlando’s power forward knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to secure a 21-17 victory for Magic Gaming and extend the series.
Unguardable poured in a contest-best 12 points and Matty recorded six points and four assists.
Game 5: Magic Gaming has been part of some wild do-or-die Game 5s over the course of their tenure in the NBA 2K League. This was not one of them. Orlando rolled past Indiana for a 22-14 win.
Not only did he finish with a contest-best 12 points, but unguardable also secured the series win with a two-handed throw down over BigReign. Matty and May each added five points.
“We were really proud of the effort against Indiana,” said Edwards. “They’re a really well-rounded team. They have a style of play that’s really hard to beat. It’s certainly hard to come back against, and in multiple games we were able to come back. We were really resilient in that series. We had great communication and great defense.”
Magic Gaming Drops a 3-1 Series to Blazer5 Gaming
Game 1: Magic Gaming struggled to get stops in a 21-11 loss to Blazer5 Gaming to open the series.
Portland point guard Claude “Claude” Knight went a perfect 7-for-7 from the floor and fired off a game-high 17 points.
Game 2: After a slow start, Magic Gaming went on a 15-6 run midway through the contest. Unfortunately for Orlando, it wasn’t enough as it dropped a 22-18 decision to Portland.
Blazer5 small forward Jomar “Jomar” Varela-Escapa led his squad with 10 points.
Matty and unguardable each scored nine for Orlando.
Game 3: With their backs up against the wall, Magic Gaming delivered one of their best performances of the tournament in a 21-13 victory.
Unguardable fired off 11 points, while May added eight.
Game 4: The series finale was certainly a back-and-forth battle. Unfortunately, Orlando was on the wrong end of a clutch shot. Claude was able to break free from Matty, get off a shot before unguardable was able to provide a help contest, and knock down the game-winning triple to give Blazer5 a 24-22 victory.
“They hit tough shots,” said Edwards. “Claude played really well. He probably had the best series of his career.”
Up Next: Magic Gaming will return to action on Wednesday, May 24 at 9 p.m. ET when they face Wizards District Gaming in THE TIPOFF – the 2KL’s first 5v5 tournament of the season.
“We put a lot of time into 5v5 already and I think we’re in a good place at the moment,” said Edwards. “I think due to this result, we’re going to have a very, very hungry team going into 5v5.”