Despite trailing by nine late in the third quarter and then by four midway through the fourth, Magic Gaming, as it typically does when the pressure rises, rallied and nearly pulled off another improbable victory.
In fact, the Magic took the lead three different times in that final frame. Although he couldn’t knock down the subsequent free throw, Brian “NachoTraynor” Traynor converted on a spectacular go-ahead AND-1 up-and-under reverse layup with 21.6 seconds remaining.
Even after Pistons GT reclaimed the lead on the ensuing possession – Frederick “Im So Far Ahead” Mendoza drilled a pair of free throws – the Magic had a chance to win it in the closing seconds. Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford’s potential game-winning runner along the baseline, however, was blocked at the buzzer.
Magic Gaming’s 66-65 loss now makes next week’s pair of games – Cavs Legion GC and Celtics Crossover Gaming being the two opponents – that much more critical in its quest to qualify for the playoffs in this inaugural NBA 2K League season.
Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz, who gave the Magic their first lead of the second half when he completed an AND-1 with just under four minutes remaining, scored 17 points. NachoTraynor also registered 17 points, and he filled up the rest of the stat sheet with four assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Christopher “KontruL” Cantrell heated up late, scoring five of his 13 points in the final two minutes. Bilal “SUPREME PULLER” Almashni chipped in with 14 points, making 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Pistons GT, which clinched a spot in the postseason, shot 7-of-10 from 3-point distance. Ramo “Lets Get It Ramo” Radoncic had a monster night, scoring 21 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Kristopher “IINSANITTY” Dellarciprete, meanwhile, tallied a game-high 22 points.