Caught in a back-and-forth battle with Bucks Gaming through two quarters, Magic Gaming’s offense stalled after the break as they dropped an 84-61 decision to Milwaukee in their 5v5 regular season finale on Friday.
Trailing by just two at halftime, Magic Gaming was outscored by Bucks Gaming 22-7 in the third quarter. Shooting guard Mason “Johhny” Bracken, the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NBA 2K League Draft, led the charge for Milwaukee, pouring in seven of his team-high 34 points in the period.
“In the third quarter, they were able to get some stops and get some runouts on the break and get some easy points,” said Magic Gaming small forward Matthew “Matty” Grant. “So, I think that swung the tide.”
Magic Gaming now sets their sights on THE TICKET, the final 5v5 tournament of the season, as their only potential pathway to the postseason.
Key Magic Gaming Performers:
It’s been quite the stretch for Magic Gaming shooting guard Wesley “Gen” McNair, who came into the contest having scored 23 points against Celtics Crossover Gaming and 32 points against DUX Infinitos earlier in the week. The third-year pro continued his torrid pace by firing off a contest-best 35 points against Bucks Gaming.
“Gen, he’s played great offensively for us,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “But we still have some things we need to clean up for sure.”
Point guard Joshua “Unguardable” Hunter notched 12 points and six assists for Orlando, while Matty tallied 12 points and two steals.
Key Bucks Performers:
Along with Johhny, Milwaukee had three other players score in double figures. Point guard Tmp “Cooks” Campbell finished with 17 points and seven assists, small forward Dawson “Dawsix” Thomas accumulated 13 points and four assists, and center Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd recorded 12 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals as Bucks Gaming improved their postseason seeding with the victory.
Along with prepping for THE TICKET, which will tip off on Aug. 12, Magic Gaming will also spend the next two weeks playing seed games for 3v3 action. Next week’s slate will feature two contests, including matchups against Heat Check Gaming and Hornets Venom GT.
“It will be an absolute gauntlet to do it, and the next few weeks will be mainly focused on 3v3, because even though we’ve looked a lot better in 5v5, I still think we’re going to look even better in 3v3,” said Edwards. “I really expect us to be a true contender at THE STEAL (the final 3v3 tournament). I honestly expect us to have an incredible 3v3 seed week as well. … After we get our system down and our rhythm, and our identity down (in 3v3), I would say at that point we’re going to switch back to 5v5 and that’ll be our sole focus going into (THE TICKET). We’ll still sprinkle some 3v3 games in there in between 5v5 scrimmages.”
How 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.