Magic Gaming Unable to Overcome Slow Start Against Gen.G

ORLANDO – Listen in to any NBA pregame press conference and you’ll hear coaches and players preach the importance of getting off to strong starts.

The same principle holds true on the virtual hardwood.

Despite several runs throughout the contest to close the gap with the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, Magic Gaming was unable to overcome a slow start and a double-digit first-quarter deficit in an 84-70 loss on Wednesday night in TURN 5v5 group play action.

“That’s a team playing with nothing to lose, and those are always dangerous games,” said Magic Gaming general manager and head coach Jonah Edwards. “It came down to a lot of what we talked about going into the game. For whatever reason, we had low energy coming off a win (earlier in the night against Nets GC). It’s a tough thing to do to play a back-to-back in this league. So, we just came out super, super flat.”

A familiar face played a huge role in helping Gen.G get off to a hot start. Shooting guard Darjean “ReturnOfDJ” Henderson came out swinging in his first contest against his former squad since he was sent to the Tigers as part of a four-team trade that brought shooting guard Emmanuel “FantaSZN” Gosman to Orlando.

ReturnOfDJ erupted for 25 of his game-high 46 points prior to the break and was 7-for-8 from 3-point range at the half.

“We knew this was his super bowl and their super bowl,” said Edwards. “We were their big brother all year in 3v3, and so this was their moment. And they got it. I imagine this is not the last time we’re going to see Gen.G this season.”

Orlando looked primed for a comeback after opening the third quarter on an 11-4 run that pulled Magic Gaming within two. However, Gen.G outscored Orlando 16-9 to close the period and keep Magic Gaming at a distance.

Center Ashton “LowkeyGodlike” Agredano notched 24 points, six rebounds and five assists, while point guard Joshua “unguardable” Hunter added 16 points and 11 assists for Orlando. FantaSZN poured in 14 points.

UP NEXT: Magic Gaming returns to TURN group play action on Friday when they face 76ers GC at 7 p.m. ET. After their loss to Gen.G, Orlando will need a win over Philadelphia along with some additional help in order to qualify for the tournament’s bracket play.

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