INDIANAPOLIS – An exciting, record-breaking season for Pacers Gaming came to a stunning end Friday evening in Dallas, Texas when the Western Conference, No. 2 seed Pacers fell in two games (91-87 in OT & 74-60) to Jazz Gaming in a best-of-three second round matchup in the NBA 2K League playoffs. Jazz Gaming will play Saturday for the Western Conference title and a spot in next weekend’s championship finals, also being played in Dallas. Pacers Gaming and Utah played two months and one day ago in regular-season action and split, Indiana winning 84-68 before losing 87-85. Indiana finishes the season with a 20-8 regular-season record and a 22-15 overall mark – both team records for wins.
The tight first game saw a very close first half – Utah led 20-18 after the first quarter and the Pacers outscored the Jazz 23-21 in the second to even the score 41-41 at intermission. Pacers rookie 630 (Xavier Barazza), the leading scorer in the 2K League this season and the favorite for league Rookie of the Year, exploded for 14 third-quarter points to give the Blue & Gold a 61-56 advantage heading to the fourth. Neither team led by more than two the last four minutes of the game and Utah scored with just :03 left to force overtime. The Pacers fell behind by five early in the extra period and could never make up the difference. 630 led all scorers with 53 points to go along with 11 assists. Veteran center Jomar (Jomar Varela-Escapa) earned a double/double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Swizurk hit four three-pointers on his way to 12 points. Splashy led Utah with 33 points and 15 assists.
The Jazz jumped on the Pacers early in Game 2, leading a defensive first quarter 15-12 before taking a 36-27 advantage at halftime. The Jazz never gave Indiana any room, outscoring the Pacers 20-17 in the third and 18-16 in the fourth for the 74-60 final. 630 led the Pacers attack with 20 points and nine assists while Jomar picked up another double/double with 19 points and 16 boards. Swizurk added nine, Wolf (Bryant Colon) scored eight and LavishPhenom (Andron Thomas) finished with four points and four rebounds. Splashy had 36 points and nine assists for Utah.