There were no major upsets during the second night of the NBA 2K League The Ticket Tournament on Friday as the top three seeds remain heading into the final day of the single-elimination event.
Blazer5 Gaming (10-8) and 76ers GC (9-9) advanced through two rounds of play on Friday, and will squareoff Saturday in the tournament semifinal. The winner of that round will face T-Wolves Gaming (8-8) in the tournament championship with a bid into the NBA 2K League playoffs up for grabs.
The Ticket Tournament included 14 of the 23 teams in the league that had not yet already secured a spot in the postseason. Teams that finished the regular season seeded one through nine are already in the playoff field. The T-Wolves were the 10th seed after the regular season and got an express trip to The Ticket's championship game. Blazer5 and 76ers GC were the next two highest-finishing teams in the regular season at 11th and 12th, respectively.
Blazer5 swept past Celtics Crossover Gaming, 2-0, in their first tournament match on Friday, then downed Grizz Gaming 2-0 in the quarterfinal round.
The 76ers needed six full games to get through their two matches on Friday. The 76ers edged the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai in Friday's first round 2-1, then rallied after a Game 1 loss to stop Hawks Talon GC 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Nidal "Mama Im Dat Man" Nasser was brilliant throughout for Blazer5. He averaged 29.5 points and 12.5 assists against the Celtics as Blazer5 won 66-44 and 84-67. The Celtics saw their season end at 5-13 despite Sheriff "FT" Cruz piling up 62 points combined in the two-game loss.
In the quarterfinals against Grizz Gaming, Mama Im Dat Man again led the way. He averaged 36.5 points and 10.5 assists per game in the two-game victory -- 97-50 and 60-59 -- and Blazer5 clinched it when Andron "LavishPhenom" Thomas blocked a shot at the buzzer in Game 2 to preserve a one-point victory.
Grizz Gaming (9-10) got 15 points and 12 rebounds in the first game from Dayvon "GOOFY757" Curry, and Zach "Vandi" Vandivier had 27 points and 10 assists in the second game.
The 76ers posted two big wins in their early-round win over Gen.G. The 76ers won the opening game 110-65, dropped a 79-69 middle game, then won the finale 99-70. Ethan "Radiant" White was brilliant with averages of 30.7 points and 9.7 assists per game, and Christopher "BreadwinnerLA" Lafanette anchored the middle with 15.7 points and 16.7 rebounds per game.
Dhwan "ShiftyKaii" White led Gen.G (7-11) with 19.3 points and 14 assists per game.
The 76ers dropped the first game against the Hawks -- 65-57 -- then posted consecutive wins of 63-50 and 73-61 to move on. Radiant again was the focal point offensively as he averaged 25 points and 8.7 assists per game in the match while shooting 68.9 percent overall.
Michael "BP" Diaz-Cruz paced the Hawks (8-10) with 28.7 points per game.
In the other early-round matches, the Hawks dispatched Magic Gaming 2-0, and the Grizz survived Knicks Gaming in a 2-1 win.
The Hawks got by the Magic 63-55 and 70-67 behind BP, who had games of 28 and 40 points. In the second game, BP hit 18 of 24 shots overall while the Hawks hit 30 of 39 as a team. Brendal "Reizey" Hill led the Magic (8-10) with 28 points in both games.
GOOFY757 had three straight double-doubles as the Grizz held off the Knicks. The Knicks won the opening game 65-64, but the Grizz took the next two -- 70-67 and then 90-87 in overtime. GOOFY757 averaged 14.7 points and 15.7 rebounds in the match, and Vandi capped a strong series with a 51-point outburst in the final game. Vandi averaged 32 points in the match.
The Knicks (8-10) were led by Christopher "Duck" Charles, who averaged 27.3 points and 10 assists per game.
--Field Level Media