Magic Gaming (4-5) stormed back from a 15-point first half deficit to claim an important 71-68 victory over Jazz Gaming (5-4).
Given a win from either side would have clinched a top-6 seed heading into THE TICKET, the fact Magic Gaming managed to survive what appeared to be an insurmountable deficit in the first half is a feat in itself. Rallying back against a hungry Jazz Gaming squad to actually win the contest is another matter entirely.
It certainly looked bleak in the first half, as Jazz Gaming secured a 15-point lead after the opening 12 minutes thanks to the dynamic duo of Yeah I Compete and MrSlaughter01. The new archetype changes had a profound effect on Jazz Gaming’s starting five, as Compete, the nominal point guard throughout the duration of the NBA 2K League, shifted to small forward while Tifeworld took over at point guard. The decision, which was made in order to give Compete more scoring opportunities without losing too much of his defensive prowess, appeared to be firing on all cylinders, with the first-round pick registering 12 points and six rebounds through two quarters.
But a bevy of turnovers in the third quarter from Jazz Gaming triggered an avalanche of fast break buckets and timely second chance scoring opportunities for Magic Gaming, which ultimately rode a 21-6 scoring wave to essentially even up the game heading into the fourth quarter. From there, it was a relatively even battle as neither team led by more than six points in the final frame. Real life NBA decisions even factored into the play, as the archetype changes opened the door for a “hack-a-Shaq” strategy to creep into the final minutes. Unfortunately, Magic Gaming managed to benefit from the free throw line attempts, as two consecutive fouls on their respective big man yielded four points, forcing Utah to hit a number of difficult shots just to stay in contention. With 1.5 seconds remaining, Jazz Gaming’s quest for overtime fell just short, as a three point attempt at the top of the key clanged off the back of the rim to give Magic Gaming its second win in as many weeks.