No. 6 76ers Gaming Club (GC) fell to No. 16 Pacers Gaming, 65-61, in the quarterfinals of THE TICKET powered by AT&T at The Fortress at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. With an automatic playoff berth at stake in the NBA 2K League’s third and final tournament of the season, 76ers GC started off with a dominant, 79-50, victory over No. 11 Kings Guard Gaming but saw its run come to an end after coming up short in the final moments against Pacers Gaming.
In the final game of the first round, 76ers GC took on a familiar foe in Kings Guard Gaming having already faced them twice during the 2019 campaign. Much like the first two matchups, the first half was closely contested as the sides exchanged neutralizing runs, only to see 76ers GC take over and leave no doubt in the game’s final 12 minutes.
Coming out strong has been a theme with 76ers GC as of late, and the contest with Kings Guard Gaming was no different as they scored the game’s first six points, followed by a 9-2 to run at the end of the first quarter. However, Kings Guard Gaming did not go away, and even took a lead in the second period, but 76ers GC closed out the quarter strong again and held a seven-point lead at halftime. From there, it was all 76ers GC. A seven-point lead turned into 17 within the first three minutes of the third quarter and by the end of the second half, 76ers GC had outscored Kings Guard Gaming, 39-17.
76ers GC point guard Ethan “Radiant” White turned in another dominant performance with 28 points, one rebound, 14 assists and one steal while going 10-14 from the field and a perfect 5-5 from beyond the arc. The 28-point game, which was honored with an Intel Player of the Game selection, was the second-highest scoring output by a 76ers GC player in tournament play this season.
76ers GC center Alexander “Steez” Bernstein posted a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double to go along with two assists, three steals and one block. His three double-doubles in tournament play this season are the second-most on the team
76ers GC power forward Christopher “BreadwinnerLA_” Lafanette scored 19 points, a season-best in tournament play, while adding two rebounds, one assist, eight steals and one block. This was his third straight game with five-plus steals.
Kings Guard Gaming was led by point guard Michael “BP” Diaz, who put up 19 points and dished out seven assists, while center Jhade “worthingcolt” Black had 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Despite the differential in seeding, the quarterfinals presented a matchup of teams that stood at fifth (76ers GC) and sixth (Pacers Gaming) in the regular-season standings. From the jump, neither team could pull away as the majority of the contest was played within one possession, but a 76ers GC cold stretch coupled by a Pacers Gaming run in the finals minutes proved to be the difference.
With the score locked both at halftime and at the end of the third quarter, each team was looking for one key stop to provide any type of separation. Tied at 50, 76ers GC forced a pair of turnovers and found themselves up by six with 4:25 remaining in the game. However, Pacers Gaming continued its push and managed to climb ahead for good with 27.7 seconds left.
Radiant recorded his second point-assist double-double of the tournament with 14 points, one rebound and 17 assists. Dating back to 76ers GC’s regular-season contest on June 6 against Pistons GT, this was his third straight double-double, a season-best streak.
Steez produced his second 20-point game across all competitions this season and also collected six rebounds, stole the ball once and blocked three shots. The three blocks were the most by a 76ers GC player in a tournament game this season.
76ers GC small forward Rashann “ZDS” Petty showed his range as 12 of his 14 points came on three-point field goals. Over his last five outings, he is averaging 4.6 three-pointers per game and is shooting .523 from beyond the arc.
Intel Player of the Game Pacers Gaming power forward Ramo “Ramo” Radoncic put up 43 points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block as Pacers Gaming point guard Nick “Swizurk” Grech added 12 points, one rebound, two assists and one block.