Magic Gaming Takes Down Raptors Uprising GC in Thriller

ORLANDO – Losing in heartbreaking fashion, like Magic Gaming experienced on Wednesday against Celtics Crossover Gaming, is obviously maddening. But there’s a silver lining to those frustrating defeats because sometimes they become a learning tool.

That was the case Thursday with Orlando back in action in TURN group play against Raptors Uprising GC. Up three in the final seconds, just like they were against Boston, the Magic executed exactly how they planned to, which led to them securing a 62-60 victory.

Prior to Emmanuel “FantaSZN” Gosman splitting a pair at the free throw line with 3.9 seconds left, Magic Gaming intentionally fouled Antoine “antoinelove” Times to deny Toronto from getting a 3-point shot off. Then, on the very possession, the Magic caused a miss at the buzzer by getting a hand up on former Orlando player Jarvis “Jarvis” Thompson’s jumper.

“We were more than clear with how we were going to guard the inbound in those last seconds because realistically if we did that yesterday we’d be 2-0 right now,” said FantaSZN, acquired just a few days ago by Orlando from Dallas in a blockbuster trade. “It helped big time (being in the same situation the previous game).”

A game reset because of a system crash early in the third quarter got the Magic out of rhythm a bit. But as the fourth quarter wore on, and their defense picked up, momentum would shift back in their favor.

Still, they would need some heroic play down the stretch to avoid another heartbreaking defeat. The biggest bucket of the night was made by Ashton “LowkeyGodlike” Agredano when he slammed home a go-ahead dunk with 35 seconds remaining.

That was followed by a stifling defensive possession, which culminated with Simptoms missing a contested 3-pointer just before the shot clock was about to expire.

“I just think altogether we had a great sense of what we wanted to do,” forward Justin “Snubby” Stemerman said. “Our game plan on defense, forcing them into late shot clock situations, and we were able to zone the court well. At the end of the day, we got the stops we needed to win.”

Joshua “unguardable” Hunter led the Magic with 22 points and 11 assists, while LowkeyGodlike and Julian “Jboolin” Manzanares each scored 11. LowkeyGodlike also gobbled up 14 rebounds.

Playing in his second game with the Magic, FantaSZN finished with nine points. The San Francisco native was ecstatic when he learned he’d be joining his new teammates in Orlando. He feels this is a group that can make some serious noise the rest of the TURN and beyond.

“From a league aspect, I was very happy to come play with this group of guys,” he said. “I’ve never been surrounded by so much talent in my life. I’m super grateful to be here…It was good feelings, good emotions.”

The Raptors, who made the finals in the TIPOFF, were led Thursday by antoinelove, who finished with 20 points and 12 assists. Center Waseem “BallLikeSeem” Talbert posted 14 points and 17 rebounds.

UP NEXT: Magic Gaming will host Hawks Talon GC for a live in-person TURN group play contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the leAD Lake Nona Sports & Health Accelerator. The game is free and open to the public, with doors opening at 12:30 p.m. Fans interested in coming to the event can register HERE.

There will be an open play period prior to the game from 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. where those attending can play NBA 2K24, NBA JAM and more.

“That will be definitely a treat,” Snubby said. “It will be my first in-person game since I last played in the 2K League two years ago. Even though it’s not on stage yet, it’s still an in-person environment against a good team. They’re going to come in and try to fight. I have a lot of friends on that team so it will be good banter.”

HOW TO WATCH: Fans can watch games live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.