A buzzer-beating jumper from Tamer "Bulleyy" Mustafa capped the first night of the NBA 2K League The Ticket Tournament on Thursday.
Bulleyy hit the game-winner for Celtics Crossover Gaming in a 67-66 victory over Heat Check Gaming to finish off a 2-0 sweep in the fifth and final match of the night. Matches in the tournament include a best-of-three series between teams. The Celtics won the opener 68-60.
In other opening round matches on Thursday, Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai knocked off Cavs Legion GC 2-0, Magic Gaming swept Pacers Gaming 2-0, Grizz Gaming downed Lakers Gaming 2-0, and Knicks Gaming took a 2-1 win over Pistons GT.
The Ticket Tournament runs through Saturday and includes the 14 teams in the NBA 2K League that have not yet locked up one of the 10 playoff spots. Teams that finished the regular season seeded one through nine are already in the playoff field. The 10th-seed, T-Wolves Gaming, is placed in The Ticket Tournament Final, with the 13 remaining teams fighting for a spot opposite the Wolves in the final.
The tournament winner gets the last playoff bid.
The Celtics (5-12) will face Blazer5 Gaming (8-8) in the next round on Friday. The Heat's season is over at 5-12.
Gen.G (7-10) swept the Cavs by 75-68 and 87-65 scores. Dhwan "ShiftyKaii" White was sensational in the winning effort, averaging 29.5 points and 13.5 assists. Frederick "Doza" Mendoza led the Cavs (4-13) with averages of 22 points and 12.5 assists. Gen.G will face 76ers GC (7-9) on Friday.
The Magic had no trouble with the Pacers, cruising to wins of 87-57 and 84-60 behind Brendan "Reizey" Hill's 37 points per game, 10 assists per game and incredible 65.2 percent shooting. The Pacers finish the season at 4-13, while the Magic (8-9) advance to face Hawks Talon GC (7-9) in the next round.
The Knicks needed three games, shaking off a 77-68 loss in the opener to eventually put away the Pistons with wins of 79-68 and 67-65. Christopher "Duck" Charles led the way with 24 points and 9.3 assists per game for the Knicks (8-9), who will face Grizz Gaming in the next round. Ramo "Ramo" Radoncic had 29 points per game for the Pistons (3-14).
The Grizz (8-9) swept the Lakers, 73-64 and 84-56, behind Dayvon "GOOFY757" Curry, who piled up averages of 17 points, 16 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game. Sten "SAV" Valge-Saar led the Lakers (3-14) with 20.5 points per game.
Two rounds in the single-elimination tournament are scheduled for Friday.
The finalists for the NBA 2K League 2020 Most Valuable Player Award were also announced on Thursday: Charlie "CB13" Bostwick of Warriors Gaming Squad, Ryan "Dayfri" Conger of Wizards District Gaming, Reginald "Regg" Nash from Bucks Gaming, Spencer "Ria" Wyman of Jazz Gaming and Kenneth "Kenny Got Work" Hailey for Raptors Uprising GC.
Kenny Got Work is the favorite after he averaged 35.3 points and 8.3 assists per game in leading the Raptors to the No. 1 seed and the first undefeated regular season in NBA 2K League history.
--Field Level Media