INDIANAPOLIS – Before a rowdy, pro-Indiana crowd, Pacers Gaming made history in the NBA 2K League THE SLAM OPEN Tournament Wednesday night, winning the first in-person, best-of-five 3v3 series in league history with an impressive and dramtic 3-0 sweep (22-20, 22-18, 21-19) of T-Wolves Gaming at the Pavilion at Pan Am in downtown Indianapolis. The Pacers, now 6-1 in the tournament, will play DUX Infinitos (who swept Pistons GT 3-0 Thursday) on Friday at a time TBD in the quarterfinal round. Semifinals and finals will be held Saturday at Pan Am.
The Blue & Gold wasted no time taking command early in Game 1 against Minnesota (a team that just a few weeks ago won the league’s first 5v5 tournament in this building). Holding a 17-15 lead late, the Pacers didn’t rattle when the T-Wolves went up 20-19. Pacers veteran WoLF (Bryant Colon), playing in front of family and friends, nailed a game-winning three-pointer to give Indiana a 22-20 win and a 1-0 edge in the series. WoLF finished with five points on two-of-two shooting, two rebounds and an assist. Vandi (Zach Vandivier) led the way with 15 points (six-of-seven) and two assists and defensive stalwart Jomar (Jomar Varela-Escapa) added two points, three rebounds, four assists and two huge steals.
T-Wolves Gaming looked to be in control and about to even the series in Game 2, leading 18-16 late. But Vandi, who scored ALL of Indiana’s points in the contest, hit back-to-back threes for a dramatic 22-18 Pacers Gaming victory. Vandi hit a three to put Indiana ahead 19-18. On the next play Jomar made a steal and fed Vandi for the heart-crushing, game-winning three-pointer! Vandi was eight-of-10 from the field, including six-of-seven from the three-point arc. Jomar had four assists and two steals while WoLF produced a key steal and blocked shot.
In Game 3, again it didn’t look good for the Pacers as they trailed 17-12. But Indiana found a way, outscoring Minnesota 9-2 the rest of the way. Down 19-15, Jomar hit a three-pointer; the Pacers defense forced a missed potential game-winning shot and then Vandi passed to WoLF who fired a pass back to Vandi for a game-winning and series-winning three-pointer. Indiana won 21-19 as Vandi scored 14 on six-of-seven shooting. Wolf had four points and Mr. Reliable, Jomar had three points, two rebounds, one assist and a steal.
Box scores below…