INDIANAPOLIS – Start calling them the “Cardiac Comeback Kids”. Pacers Gaming came back once again to defeat Lakers Gaming 3-2 (12-21, 21-17, 23-20, 18-22, 23-21) in dramatic fashion Friday night in the NBA 2K League THE SLAM Tournament and capture the No. 1 seed in its group. Indiana finished its group play with a 5-1 record; Los Angeles falls to 4-2. Pacers Gaming will now play in-person next week at the Pan Am Pavilion in downtown Indianapolis. The advancing teams will begin play Wednesday night, May 11 and continue each evening through Saturday (May 14) afternoon’s championship matchup. Exact starting times of the Pacers games will be announced by the league after completion of the remote group play this weekend. Fans can go to NBA2KLeague.com for ticket information.
The Lakers, who had beaten Pacers Gaming 3-1 in the first game of the event back on April 26, came out strong in Game 1, winning 21-12. Regg had all 21 points for LA on seven-of-ten shooting from the three-point arc. WoLF (Bryant Colon) led Indiana’s attack with five points and two rebounds. Jomar (Jomar Varela-Escapa) added four points, two rebounds and two assists while Reizey (Reid Hill), making his first appearance in a PG uniform after being picked up in a trade with Philadelphia after the 5v5 tournament on April 28, contributed three points and two assists.
Vandi (Zach Vandivier) replaced Reizey in Game 2 and led the Pacers to a 21-17 victory that evened the series. Vandi scored 13 points while Jomar (three key steals) had five points and WoLF tallied three. The Pacers remarkably had NO rebounds and NO turnovers in the win. Jomar’s dramatic three-pointer was the game winner! The Pacers stayed hot in Game 3 and went up 2-1 in the series with a last-second 23-20 victory. Vandi had 15 on five-of-six shooting from the arc, Jomar added six points and two steals and WoLF had two points and two assists. With the score tied 17-17 (first to 21 wins, but must win by two points), Vandi hit a three for a 20-17 Indiana edge. Regg nailed a three for LA to tie the game at 20-20. Eschewing a two-point attempt, Vandi went for the kill and drilled a three-pointer for the heart-stopping win.
Facing a series loss and three straight defeats to Indiana, Los Angeles, a pre-tournament favorite to win the group, came back from a 16-13 deficit to win 22-18 and force Game 5 as Regg scored 20 in Game 4. Vandi led Indiana with 10 points followed by WoLF with six and Jomar with two.
The deciding Game 5 was one for the ages. The Pacers led 17-15 before a Laker three-pointer put them up 18-17. Red hot Vandi put home a three of his own to give Pacers Gaming a 20-18 lead. Regg came back with a three for LA to give the Lakers a 21-20 advantage. Vandi wasted no time drawing the defense to his side and then making his fourth assist of the game with a bullet pass to WoLF for a game-winning and series-winning three pointer! WoLF finished as the game’s high scorer with 12 points on five-of-six shooting while Vandi added nine points to his four assists and Jomar scored two points, dished two assists, had a steal and a rebound. Regg was held to 11 points by a brilliant Indiana defense.
Box scores below…