INDIANAPOLIS (March 22, 2023) – Pacers Gaming might be the hottest team presently in the NBA 2K League. Indiana won its fourth consecutive 3v3 series Wednesday night with an exciting 3-1 best-of-five remote conquest of the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai as the league’s SLAM OPEN Tournament bracket finals continued. With the win the Pacers advance to Thursday night’s encounter with Knicks Gaming at 8:15 p.m. A victory over New York would ensure the Pacers a trip to Washington, D.C. next week for the in-person tournament finals. A loss to New York Thursday would necessitate a game Friday for the Blue and Gold in the double-elimination tournament.
After starting the season with five consecutive series losses, coach Cody Parrent switched the lineup. Since then, Indiana is 4-0 in the best-of-five series tournament with a 12-3 record. Each game in that 3v3 series format is first team to 21 wins; but must win by two points.
Exhibiting team play like few franchises in the league, in EACH of Pacers Gaming’s three victories Wednesday the Blue & Gold featured a DIFFERENT leading scorer. “The guys are playing with such confidence right now,” said Parrent. “It’s not a cockiness whatsoever. But just a deep belief in each other. The brotherhood among all of five players, including the three who play, and our coaching staff is real.”
Game One Wednesday featured one of the most exciting contests played in the league this year. The Pacers stormed out to 9-0 lead but then saw the Tigers make a run of their own and Indiana was down 18-11 and just a three-pointer by Shanghai away from losing. But keen defense and great teamwork (Indiana had six assists in the game; Shanghai had but one), propelled the Pacers to finish the game on a 12-2 run to win, 23-20. CHESS (Kory Taylor) led the Pacers with 13 points and three assists. BIG REIGN (Blaine Wilson) pulled down a season-high seven rebounds to go with his six points while JAYSNAGS (Julio Laboy) played elite defense and scored four. GALLOW, who would lead Gen.G in scoring in each of its four games Thursday, had 16 points.
Indiana took a 2-0 lead in the series with a 22-16 victory in Game Two as JAYSNAGS went for a season-high 14 points on six-of-seven shooting from the field. CHESS contributed four assists, a steal, a rebound and five points and BIG REIGN had two rebounds, two assists and hit his only three-point attempt for three points. GALLOW led Shanghai with nine tallies. GenG. captured Game Three with a 23-13 victory as GALLOW scored 10. CHESS scored six for Indiana followed by JAYSNAGS with four and BIG REIGN with three.
In a very tight Game Four, with the Tigers playing for their lives, the teams saw five ties enroute to a 14-14 score. After the Pacers went up 16-14, Shanghai responded with back-to-back baskets to take a 19-16 edge; again, just a basket away from forcing a Game Five. But the resilient and confident Pacers scored the final five points to claim the game, 21-19, and the series, 3-1. This time it was BIG REIGN as Indiana’s leading scorer with eight points, three rebounds and two assists. CHESS scored seven to go along with a season-high matching five assists. JAYSANGS tallied six points while GALLOW led Shanghai with nine points.