Magic Gaming 55, Warriors Gaming Squad 48
Magic Gaming’s opponents on Saturday, the Knicks and Warriors, featured two of the premier scoring big men in the entire NBA 2K League, Dayvon “Goofy757” Curry and Jordan “Vert” Gates. Vert, in fact, ranked fourth in the league in scoring entering this weekend’s action and Goofy757 wasn’t too far behind him.
Just a few hours after limiting the Knicks’ frontcourt star to his second worst scoring performance of the season, 16 points on 10 shot attempts, Magic Gaming’s stifling defense held Vert to a measly 10 points in a 55-48 victory over Warriors Gaming Squad.
Suddenly, in congruence with some lineup changes, the Magic have become one of the best defensive teams in the league. If Goofy757’s and Vert’s poor production wasn’t enough evidence of that, what transpired in the fourth quarter against the Warriors may boost this notion even further.
Magic Gaming recorded a steal, a deflection or a block on five consecutive defensive possessions early in the fourth. All of those plays led to high percentage scoring chances on the other end.
The Warriors shot just 4-of-12 from beyond the arc and didn’t attempt a single free throw.
“We knew Vert who played center for them that game is their best player and they were going to try and really run their offense through him,” Magic Gaming point guard Christopher “KontruL” Cantrell said. “We felt as though if we helped out around the perimeter and got out to our man and rotated well that we were going to be able to really slow down their offense which we were able to do today.”
Outhustling the Warriors was also a big factor. Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford, who followed up his 23-point, 11-rebound performance in his regular season debut with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists, was sensational on the offensive glass. His offensive rebound in the waning moments of the third quarter led to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz, who also filled up the stat sheet with 13 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists.
“We know Cam is a great inside-out type of guy,” KontruL said. “He can really set us up for success by starting inside, getting some dunks, getting some offensive rebounds, getting some alley-oops. I think that starts it all.”
Jorge “marley213s” Renteria led all scorers with 15 points, KontruL chipped in with eight points and Bilal “SUPREME PULLER” Almashni had five points.
Now at 2-2 and extremely confident, the Magic will look to build some momentum off this weekend’s success. They will take on Grizz Gaming on Saturday, June 2 at 1 p.m. ET.
Magic Gaming 66, Knicks Gaming 56
Sometimes all it takes is a lineup tweak or two to rejuvenate a team and restore confidence. For Magic Gaming, which spent the last several days exploring new combinations and strategies, this notion proved spot-on.
Magic Gaming made some key modifications, notably injecting Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford into the lineup, and it made a world of difference in their dominant 66-56 victory over Knicks Gaming on Saturday.
With his Rebounding Athletic Finisher archetype, KingCamRoyalty erupted for 23 points and grabbed 11 boards in his first appearance of the regular season. He shot 10-of-13 from the field and had five dunks, including a ferocious alley-oop slam late in the first half.
Momentum swung in the Magic’s favor when Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz, who posted 22 points at the small forward position, stole away a careless pass by the Knicks in the backcourt and flew to the basket for an uncontested dunk just before the halftime buzzer. Scorching hot from 3-point range last week, UCMANNY pushed the Magic’s lead to 18 when he buried back-to-back triples early in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps most impressive about the Magic’s performance was their defensive tenacity and precision. While Christopher “KontruL” Cantrell and Bilal “SUPREME PULLER” Almashni did a phenomenal job guarding the perimeter, Jorge “marley213s” Renteria helped limit one of the league’s premier interior scorers, Dayvon “Goofy757” Curry, to just 16 points and five rebounds.
Magic Gaming did most of their damage in the third when they outscored the Knicks 22-8. Four of the Magic’s five players scored in that period, including KontruL who recorded all nine of his points during those six minutes.
One of the best mid-range jump shooters in the league, UCMANNY connected on four jumpers in the first quarter and seven throughout the game. He also had a nifty floater and emphatic dunk during his almighty 10-of-16 shooting effort.
Magic Gaming will look for back-to-back wins when they take on Warriors Gaming Squad later in the day.
The 48 points scored by Warriors Gaming Squad against Magic Gaming is the lowest point total by any team so far in the regular season.
In the three games he’s appeared in this season combined (including Tip-Off Tournament), Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford has shot 22-of-34 (65 percent) from the field.
Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz has made eight of his last 11 from 3-point range.