There are not many teams, if any, in the NBA 2K League more cohesive and composed than Magic Gaming, who defeated Grizz Gaming, 73-68, on Saturday for their third straight win.
That poise and congruity was conspicuous against the Grizz, who led after each of the first three quarters and by as much as nine in the first half. Brimming with confidence, especially after last week’s lineup changes, an unfazed Magic squad gradually seized control behind selflessness, precision and outstanding ball movement.
Magic Gaming outscored the Grizz, 24-18, in the fourth. Jorge “marley213s” Renteria scored 10 of his 18 points in those final six minutes and Bilal “SUPREME PULLER” Almashni drilled a 3-point dagger down the stretch.
The team’s 24 assists, 15 handed out by their floor leader, Christopher “KontruL” Cantrell, is the second most the Magic have dished out this season.
Selected in the sixth round of the inaugural NBA 2K League Draft, Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford continues to make the most of his opportunity. Since getting inserted into the lineup, the 20-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio has been one of the league’s top performers. He finished Saturday’s win with a team-high 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field.
Yet, it’s not his individual numbers that are motivating him. The Magic are thriving and jelling because of the team’s unselfishness and that’s what’s most encouraging for the Magic’s breakout star.
“We all know that we can score but it takes a different person to be able to say I want to set this guy up and be content with that,” he said. “Some guys are not able to do that but I feel our guys we want to see each other do well and we’re not selfish, we make the right play. So if somebody’s open, nobody has a problem passing it. We can trust each other to make the right decision.”
Last week’s lineup modifications have also had a positive impact on Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz, who tallied 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 from 3-point range. A second round draft pick from New York, UCMANNY has made 10 of his last 15 from beyond the arc.
Magic Gaming out-rebounded the Grizz, 18-12, and they overcame a terrific performance from Mehyar “AuthenticAfrican” Ahmed-Hassan, who made his first eight shots and finished with 32 points.
Magic Gaming will now try to carry this momentum into the first of two mid-season tournaments.
“We’re very confident,” KingCamRoyalty said. “It’s good to have the results to back it up. Before we were losing some games but we still felt good about ourselves. We practice a lot so I’ve seen it throughout practice and in different scrimmages. We’re doing great. I’m glad I’m here.”