INDIANAPOLIS (March 01, 2024) – Pacers Gaming split two best-of-five series Friday night (losing to T-Wolves Gaming and defeating Mavs Gaming) as Group Play action in the NBA 2K League 3v3 The SLAM OPEN Tournament continued.  The Pacers are now 3-1 in Group Play and will await the schedule for next week’s bracket round. Friday evening’s Blue & Gold action featured two thrilling five-game series which both went down to the wire in the first-to-21 wins (by two points) competition.

In the first series of the night, the Pacers dropped a thrilling 3-2 matchup to Minnesota. Indiana took Game 1, 23-19 as point guard COOKS (Mike Campbell) scored 12 points on five-of-five shooting from the field – and dished three assists.  CHESS (Kory Taylor) added seven tallies and JAYSNAGS (Julio Laboy) contributed four points.  As a team, Indiana was 10-of-10 from the field and three-of-three from the arc.  TUTAK led the T-Wolves with 13 points.  Minnesota rallied to take the next two games – 22-16 and 21-16.  COOKS had 14 in the Game 2 loss while TUTAK scored 13 for Minnesota. In Game 3, TUTAK was eight-of-eight from the field and scored 19 for the winning Wolves.  COOKS had 10 in a losing effort for the Pacers.  With their backs to the wall the Pacers claimed Game 4 and tied the series at 2-2 as CHESS led the way with 11 points and four rebounds and COOKS scored 10 while dishing five assists.  TUTAK was held to seven points.

In the deciding Game 5, Minnesota claimed the series and handed Indiana its first series loss of 2024 with a 21-17 triumph behind TUTAK’s 11 points.  CHESS scored 10 for Indiana while COOKS was held to a season-low three points.

The Pacers did not start well and dug themselves a deep hole against Dallas in the second series, losing the first two games – 23-12 and 21-17.  In the Game 1 loss to Mavs Gaming, COOKS was held scoreless for the first time this season.  JAYSNAGS paced Indiana with 12 points, but JARISTY scored 11 to give the Mavs a 1-0 edge.  Dallas claimed Game 2 with a 21-17-win.  COOKS had nine points and JAYSNAGS added six for Indiana in the loss.

Down 0-2 and in a win-or-go-home Game 3, the Pacers found themselves down 19-16 in the game and only two points away from elimination.  But Coach Joel Lazu’s squad battled back for a hard-fought 23-19 comeback victory behind COOKS with 10 points and five assists and JAYSNAGS with eight points. CHESS added five points and three rebounds.  DAYFRI had seven points for Dallas.  The Pacers evened the series at 2-2 with a dominant 22-15 win in Game 4 as COOKS scored 20 of his team’s 22 points, putting the pressure all on the Mavs.   Indiana’s resiliency and toughness paid off in Game 5 and once again the Pacers came back from a 14-10 deficit to win the game 22-19 and claim the series in terrific comeback form. COOKS had 13 points and four assists and JAYSNAGS added seven in the dramatic victory.