ORLANDO – One of the reasons Magic Gaming won three straight series to close out the regular season was that its scoring output was balanced. Consistently, multiple Orlando players, occasionally four or even all five of them, scored in double figures. That was again the case in the opening round of the TICKET, as Magic Gaming’s leveled Game 1 scoring production, a dazzling Game 2 from Brendan “Reizey” Hill and resolute team defense throughout the series helped them sweep Pacers Gaming on Thursday and advance to play Hawks Talon GC in the next round.
Game 1: Daniel “DT” Tlais recorded a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Reizey and Robert “May” May each had double-doubles as Magic Gaming jumped out to a big early lead and never relinquished control in an 87-57 victory.
All five Magic players, in fact, scored in double figures. Reizey erupted for 32 points to go along with dishing out 10 assists, while Alex “Profusion” Snowden scored 22, Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush had 12 and May chipped in with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Interestingly enough, when the Magic played the Pacers last week, all five Orlando players reached double figures in scoring in one of the games in that series as well.
“We’ve done a really good job of getting everyone involved,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “To me, it starts with Profusion. As soon as he gets going, I always say to him that I think when he’s hitting at a high clip and he’s scoring points for us we are just incredibly tough to beat. Him coming out and having a couple early three and getting going early, it’s just so huge for us.”
The Magic made 15 3-pointers, 10 more than the Pacers. Profusion drilled six of them, while Reizey sank all four of his tries.
Game 2: One of the league’s best players in the second half of the season has been Reizey, as the Tyler, Texas native delivered another gem, racking up 42 points and 10 assists to help Magic Gaming end Pacers Gaming’s season with an 84-60 triumph. DT, meanwhile, feasted in the paint with 28 points and 18 rebounds.
Reizey, last year’s Rookie of the Year, made 17 of his 29 shot attempts overall and five of his 12 3-point tries. In the series against Heat Check Gaming a few weeks ago, he had games with 43 and 53 points.
“They changed lineups going into Game 2. They run that double lockdown defender lineup and obviously you’re just not going to get a lot of threes, not real volume shooting,” Edwards explained. “When you’re able to get a lead like we did and you’re able to shoot the three like Reid is…it’s just going to be really tough to beat you. Reid had a great game. But I think everyone had a great one.”
Up by just four midway through the third quarter, the Magic seized full control by going on a 25-9 run. The Pacers had no answer for DT down low during that stretch and Reizey was able to score at the basket, from the mid-range and from the outside.
Orlando limited Nicolas “Swizurk” Grech to just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting overall and 0-of-3 from 3-point distance.
Th Big Picture: The winner of the TICKET will be the 10th and final team to qualify for the playoffs. The nine teams already in the postseason are Raptors Uprising GC, Jazz Gaming, Warriors Gaming Squad, Wizards District Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Mavs Gaming, Hornets Venom GT and NetsGC. It’s worth noting that in the NBA 2K League’s inaugural season, Knicks Gaming won the championship after qualifying for the playoffs via the TICKET.
Up Next: It will be the third time this season the Magic and Hawks will square off. They first met in the TIPOFF, where they split their two contests. Reizey scored 25 points in Orlando’s win, while his point guard counterpart Michael “BP” Diaz-Cruz had 26 in Atlanta’s victory. Then in Week 9, they faced off again with Hawks Talon GC sweeping Magic Gaming. Former Magic player Mykel “Kel” Wilson had a big series, as did BP, who exploded for 46 points in Game 2 of that series. Their TICKET matchup will take place on Friday starting at 5 p.m.