Magic Gaming brought out the brooms – and Reid “Reizey” Hill had a small bout of unconsciousness – to finish off a two-game sweep of Bucks Gaming in the team’s season opener on Wednesday.
Hill finished the decisive game with 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting and hit three clutch 3-pointers in the early part of the second half to help close an 11-point first-half gap.
Hill said a familiarity with Bucks Gaming helped the team’s morale, despite heading into halftime trailing by 7.
“I was feeling confident,” he said. “We had no doubt the game was still very much winnable. We had come back against this team before in scrimmages.”
Magic Gaming won the game 66-63 after pulling off a commanding 74-64 win in Game 1.
In game 1, Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, including five 3-pointers.
By the NBA 2K League’s rules, the two-game sweep means the Magic is now 1-0 on the regular season.
Although the Magic earned the win, rookie Bucks Gaming point guard Reginald “Regg” Nash exploded on to the scene in his first league match.
The #12 overall pick in this year’s draft scored 61 percent of the Bucks’ points in the two games combined, finishing with 36 points in Game 1 before scoring 41 in the second game.
Edwards called Nash a tough guard. However, the team managed to hold off the rest of the team despite Nash getting his points.
“When ‘Regg’ scores and they aren’t winning, they are rattled and out of their comfort zone,” he said.
Magic Gaming had to shed a slow start in Game 2.
They trailed by 11 with less than two minutes remaining in the first half after Nash hit two free throws to push the lead to 32-21.
But a layup and a dunk on back-to-back possessions by Daniel “DT” Tlais (27 points, 14 rebounds) closed the gap to 7 before a Nash layup pushed that to 9.
A block on a dunk attempt by Nash led to a fast break dunk the other way that cut the lead to 7 at halftime.
“The message at halftime was that we trusted our defense to get stops,” head coach Jonah Edwards said. “We just had to be smarter on offense work out of the pick-and-roll. They adjusted to the fact that our shooters didn’t miss in the first game.”
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, “Reizey” went off.
He scored two deep 3’s on back-to-back possessions and then watched as “DT” putback an offensive rebound on a missed 3 on the next possession to keep the Magic within 3 points.
But after the Bucks pushed the lead to 5, the Magic responded.
“Reizey” sank a layup, the defense held and then “Reizey” continued his monster quarter with another 3-pointer.
After the defense held the Bucks to a shot-clock violation – with a buzzer-beating air ball by “Regg” – “DT” grabbed another offensive rebound.
He kicked the ball out to offseason acquisition Robert “May” May, who sank his only 3 of the game from the corner to give the Magic a 41-40 lead.
“It’s much better than just scrimmaging,” May said of getting the season opener under the team’s belt. “It’s not nerves. It’s finally something that matters. The game slowed down and I was focused.”
The Magic gave the Bucks a chance to send it to OT on a turnover with less than 3 seconds remaining but “Regg” shot an airball on a buzzer beater that would have tied it.
In the first game, Regg lit the Magic up for 36 points in his NBA 2K League debut.
But a balanced attack helped send the Magic to the season-opening win.
Magic Gaming held the Bucks to less than 50 percent from 3-point range while the Magic shot 72 percent from beyond the arc.
ToXsiK finished off a perfect game, sinking all six of his shots, including five from 3-point land.
Four Magic players scored at least 14 points in the opening win. Reizey had 13 assists and DT led the team with 8 rebounds.
The Magic return to the court on Friday with a matchup against the Wizards.