ORLANDO – Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards’ decision to move Daniel “DT” Tlais back to center and Robert “May” May to power forward paid off on Wednesday night, as Orlando swept Heat Check Gaming behind strong play from the two big men. Brendan “Reizey” Hill, meanwhile, had perhaps his two best games of his pro career, scoring over 40 in one game and over 50 in the other as the now 5-9 Magic have two more wins than their Sunshine State rivals this season.
Game 1: Magic Gaming, which trailed by 10 early in the third quarter, outscored Heat Check Gaming by 24 in the second half in its 81-65 victory. Reizey was electrifying down the stretch, finishing with a game-high 43 points, while DT posted 20 points and 12 rebounds.
May, who drilled all three of his corner 3-point attempts, put Orlando up six with just under three minutes left with a steal and breakaway layup. Reizey, subsequently, broke the game open with three straight buckets, including two from beyond the arc. Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush sealed the victory with a steal and dunk.
DT made nine of his 11 shot attempts in his return to the center spot. His Miami counterpart, Juan “Hotshot” Gonzalez, led the Heat with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
“We knew we had them caged,” Edwards said about his team’s mindset at intermission when they were down by eight. “It’s more about, let’s control our offense and see where we can score. We just knew we had them beat on defense.”
Rallying from double-digit deficits is something Orlando has done somewhat often this season. They overcame sizeable deficits in their series victories over Kings Guard Gaming and Warriors Gaming Squad earlier this year.
Game 2: Reizey delivered his best performance of the season and perhaps of his career with 53 points, as Magic Gaming finished off Heat Check Gaming with an 80-64 triumph. Also impressive was Orlando’s defense, as Miami, which fell to 3-8 this season, shot just 50 percent in the first half when the Magic built a 10-point lead going into halftime.
Together, DT and May did a terrific job containing Hotshot, one of the NBA 2K League’s premier centers. Miami’s third-year pro was held to just 6-of-12 shooting from the floor.
DT had an all-around solid game with 14 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and five steals, while Reizey, last year’s Rookie of the Year, made 22 of his 33 shot attempts and five of his eight threes as part of his extraordinary effort.
“You’re not going to lose a whole lot of games getting that production,” Edwards said about his point guard. “He was on tonight. He had it.”
Key Stat of the Night: In the first half of Game 1, the Heat didn’t commit a single turnover. In the second half of that contest, they coughed the ball up 10 times. The Magic’s stifling defense played a big part in that. Many of the eight steals Orlando came up with led to easy transition buckets.
Up Next: Magic Gaming will have an opportunity to grab part of a $260,000 prize pool in THE TURN, the second of three NBA 2K League in-season tournaments. It remains to be seen who Orlando’s first round opponent next Wednesday will be. The Magic’s victory over the Heat will certainly give them a higher seed in that single elimination tournament. Stay tuned for more details.