Magic Gaming’s SLAM OPEN Run Comes to an End with Heartbreaking Loss to Unbeaten Handlez

The Lead:

Magic Gaming’s run in the SLAM OPEN – the first 3v3 tournament of the NBA 2K League season – came to an end on Friday after dropping a thrilling 3-2 series to the red-hot amateur team, Handlez, who finished the group stage with a perfect 6-0 record.

Game 1:

NOTELITESHOOTER, the reigning 2KL Player of the Week, continued his torrid pace in the SLAM Open by erupting for a game-high 13 points, including the game-ending 3-pointer, to give Handlez a 22-17 victory over Magic Gaming in the series opener.

Matt “Matty” Grant led Orlando with 10 points, while Christopher “Duck” Charles scored five.

Game 2:

Matty drilled a clutch corner triple to tie the contest for Orlando, but on the subsequent possession, NOTELITESHOOTER found xmiami2k under the basket for a game-winning slam in Handlez’s 21-19 victory over Magic Gaming.

Xmiami2k led the amateur unit with eight points, KazeTheLock added seven, and NOTELITESHOOTER notched six points and six assists. Duck posted eight points and four assists for Orlando, while Robert “May” May scored eight.

Game 3:

Magic Gaming avoided a sweep as May drained a contest-winning corner 3-pointer to lift Orlando to a 21-17 triumph.

The quack attack was in full force as Duck exploded for a game-high 12 points to go along with four assists. Matty tallied six points and two steals.

Game 4:

Orlando racked up its second straight victory in the series as Matty connected on a game-winning triple to give Magic Gaming a 23-16 triumph over Handlez.

“We put Matty on lock (from game three on) and that was the difference maker there,” said Magic General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “Obviously, he was able to get a couple steals in every single matchup (after that). When he’s able to do that in three v three, we’re going to be really successful.”

Game 5:

In one of the most wild back-and-forth contests of the entire tournament, Magic Gaming had multiple opportunities to pull off an unbelievable comeback and leave with the victory. However, Matty had two potential game-winning triples rim out, and ultimately it would be NOTELITESHOOTER who would knock down a 3-pointer to give Handlez the contest (24-20) and the series.

“I was joking around with Jonah earlier and saying that ‘this was my Super Bowl,’ because this game wasn’t that important for us (in terms of advancing), but I definitely didn’t want an amateur team to come in and go 6-0,” Matty said. “It’s very heartbreaking. But we just got this group together and I feel like we can be really good.”

Quotes to Note:

“From two days ago to today, I can see a difference in (Duck’s) play a little bit and we’re going to do some things to try and get him out of his comfort zone a little bit on offense and try to expand his game a little bit more towards what he was last year versus what he’s been for the start of this season. But the sky is the limit for him, and I think this team. I truly believe that. I know that we’re going to be a team that everyone is sleeping on going into THE TURN. That’s totally okay with us. We’re going to be ready to punch teams in the mouth and have good starts and finish games.” – Edwards on the outlook for his squad

Up Next:

Since Magic Gaming did not qualify for bracket play in the SLAM OPEN, they’ll have next week off while the NBA 2K League wraps up the 3v3 tournament. That will be followed by a scheduled league-wide bye week. The team will return to action the week of May 24 for 5v5 play in THE TURN tournament.

Where to Watch:

Fans can watch games live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Games will also be available on Dash Radio, eGG Network in Southeast Asia, Loco in India, and Sport1 in Europe.