ORLANDO – If Magic Gaming wants to secure a strong finish to season three of the NBA 2K League, they’ll have to start by holding on to the basketball. Ball security has plagued Orlando in many of its defeats this season and unfortunately played a role in their 2-0 series defeat to Detroit Pistons GT.
Game 1: Turnover issues once again reared their ugly head for Magic Gaming as they suffered an 81-52 loss to Pistons GT.
Orlando jumped out to a 14-4 first-quarter advantage, but Detroit responded with a 30-4 run to take a 34-18 lead into halftime.
It was a deficit that proved to be too much for Magic Gaming to overcome.
Brendan “Reizey” Hill led the squad with 27 points, but also committed eight of Orlando’s 15 giveaways with six of them coming in the first half.
“We just didn’t do a whole lot well tonight,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “I’m sure those numbers are more indicative of our overall team offense and not necessarily Reid’s performance, though there were a couple of those that were probably on him.”
Ball security has been an issue for the reigning Rookie of the Year as Reizey entered the contest committing 5.5 turnovers per game, fourth most in the NBA 2K League.
Detroit shooting guard Cody “LYKaPRO” Hart fired off a game-high 28 points, small forward Joseph “Joseph” Marrero scored 19 and Johnathon “Demon JT” Fields added 17 points and seven assists for Pistons GT.
“(LYKaPRO) made all of his shots,” Edwards said. “When you’re eight of nine from three, you’re doing something right. He was in complete control, it’s as simple as that.”
Game 2: In the midst of a back-and-forth battle through three quarters, Magic Gaming ultimately could not get enough stops or generate enough offense down the stretch in a 67-57 loss to Pistons GT.
Reizey notched a double-double with 19 points and 11 assists, but once again struggled with ball security, committing eight of Orlando’s 11 turnovers. Detroit, conversely, coughed it up just five times in the contest.
“We’ve got to take care of it better,” Edwards said. “In our wins, we’ve done such a good job of taking care of it and (realizing) how important it is for us.”
Daniel “DT” Tlais scored 16, Daniel “djbama” Burge added 10 and Robert “May” May posted nine points and 18 rebounds against his former squad.
Pistons GT center Ramo “Ramo” Radoncic flirted with a triple-double, tallying 13 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists, while Demon JT led all scorers with 22 points.
“Ramo is a really good passer and that’s where his success comes,” Edwards said. “He makes a lot of good plays and was a big part of the reason they were able to take Game 2 home.”
Up Next: Magic Gaming returns to action on Wednesday when they face Heat Check Gaming at 7 p.m. ET.
“Their team is centered around (Juan “Hotshot” Gonzalez), their center, and has been for three seasons now,” Edwards said. “Part of our focus will be slowing him down.”
The matchup will be broadcasted on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch (@NBA2kLeague) and YouTube (@NBA2kLeague) channels.