INDIANAPOLIS (June 21, 2023) – After outscoring its opponent and leading after each of the first three quarters, Pacers Gaming saw its defense slip late in the game as the Blue & Gold blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter advantage and fell 76-72 to Blazer5 Gaming in the first round of the NBA 2K League 5v5 THE TURN Tournament Wednesday night.  The Pacers led by one point (16-15) after the first quarter; by three points (32-29) at halftime; and by seven (49-42) after three quarters before getting ambushed in the fourth period (34-23) enroute to the setback.  Indiana will continue play in THE TURN on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. against Lakers Gaming and on Friday at 6:00 p.m. versus Kings Guard Gaming. The Pacers are 0-1 in THE TURN, 3-6 overall this summer in 5v5 play and 1-7 all-time versus Portland.

Pacers point guard and top draft pick GREENLIGHT (Dylan Sanderson) enjoyed a fine night with career highs in points (34); field goals made (13); three-point field goals made (six) and assists (11).  Center BIG REIGN (Blaine Wilson) scored 16 points on eight-of-11 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds.  CHESS (Kory Taylor) added 11 points and a season-high three steals.  JAYSNAGS (Julio Laboy) contributed nine points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals.  The Pacers got beat on the boards 21-14 and suffered 10 turnovers to four by Portland.  Blazer5 was led by CLAUDE with 30 points and eight assists and HARBY with 22 points.  Former Pacers LAVISH and JOMAR had 10 points and seven points respectively for Portland.  JOMAR added 10 boards.

In a very close first quarter which saw the teams exchange one– and two-point leads, it was GREENLIGHT’s 14 tallies that gave the home Pacers a 16-15 edge after one.  The Pacers trailed for most of the second quarter before rallying late as GREENLIGHT scored eight and CHESS and BIG REIGN added four each in the period to give the Pacers a three-point halftime lead.  The Pacers looked to be in control when JAYSNAGS nailed a three-pointer to finish the third quarter and give Indiana a 49-42 advantage.  BIG REIGN led the Pacers with six points in the period while CHESS added five.  With 5:55 to play in the game Indiana led 55-45. But Portland would catch fire and outscore the Pacers 31-17 the rest of the way to take the win.