INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2023) – Bolstered by a total team effort, outrebounding its opponent by 10 and dishing 20 assists, Pacers Gaming earned its first win of the NBA 2K League 5v5 season Wednesday night with a 68-58 home victory over Jazz Gaming in the group play round of THE TIPOFF Tournament presented by AT&T. The 1-1 Pacers will play a road contest tomorrow, Thursday, May 25 at 7:45 p.m. against Pistons GT.
Coach Cody Parrent’s team outrebounded the Jazz, 24-14, including a remarkable 10 offensive rebounds. The Blue & Gold displayed extraordinary unselfishness on offense with the 20 assists and were brilliant on defense, holding Utah to just 39% shooting from the three-point arc. CHESS (Kory Taylor) led the balanced Pacer attack with 24 points and registered five assists. GREENLIGHT (Dylan Sanderson), who had nine points in the first quarter to get Indiana going, ended the night with 19 tallies and a team-high six assists. Veteran center BIG REIGN (Blaine Wilson) earned his first double/double of the campaign with 13 points and 11 rebounds and added four assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Rookie RANGE (Gil Santiago, Jr.), who hit a huge three-pointer late for the Pacers, scored seven to go with four rebounds and JAYSNAGS (Julio Laboy) did a little bit of everything with five points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and no turnovers. RIA with 15 points and KEI with 14 tallies, led Utah.
GREENLIGHT’s nine points in the first quarter were instrumental to pacing the home Pacers to a 18-13 lead after one quarter. CHESS matched it with nine points in the second quarter to stake Indiana to a 33-28 halftime edge. Early in the third quarter Indiana built an 11-point lead but Utah responded with a run to cut the lead to three. BIG REIGN scored six and GREENLIGHT added four in the period as Indiana maintained its five-point margin after three quarters, 50-45. Utah pulled within one point, 55-54 with 3:49 left in the game but a brilliant defensive stop by Indiana and subsequent 7-0 run by Indiana – capped by a long, long three by CHESS with 1:40 remaining to play – gave the home team a 62-54 cushion. RANGE nailed a three with 1:10 left to put the Pacers up comfortably for good.
“It was a nice team win,” said Parrent. “We cleaned up some things from last night (season-opening loss to defending champion Bucks Gaming), had a good film session today and now we know we can work on some more things as we get ready to face a very talented Detroit team. I was impressed how CHESS stood up when the Jazz made some adjustments on GREENLIGHT. And BIG REIGN is one of the best big men in our game.”