Bucks Gaming defeated Blazer5 Gaming, 68-67, in a double overtime classic during Week 1 of the 2K League on Thursday night.
In a game where 24 minutes wasn’t enough, and one where there were too many clutch shots to count, Bucks Gaming managed to hit the final decisive shot and defeat the 2K League’s defending regular season champions for the second time in as many weeks.
For Bucks Gaming, it started and ended with the play of small forward Arooks, who hit the game-winning mid-range jump shot with one second left to play in the second overtime. But his heroics went well beyond that, as he went back and forth with Blazer5 Gaming star point guard Mama Im Dat Man all night.
It started in the closing moments of the fourth quarter with Bucks Gaming down two points. Arooks hit a three to go up 49-48, but then Mama Im Dat Man tied it with a technical free throw and then hitting a three of his own to put Blazer5 up three. But it wasn’t long before Arooks would tie the game with another three, and the squads headed to overtime. After the two went back and forth over the course of two overtimes, Arooks and Bucks Gaming had the ball with the clock winding down, and he pulled up at the free throw line to confidently make the game-winning jumper.
For most of the night, Blazer5 did an excellent job defending the three-point line and stopping Bucks Gaming’s dangerous shooters from getting hot. They even had a lead as large as 11 points in the second half, but they left the window open for Arooks, and the Bucks Gaming star took over.
Arooks tied the record for most threes made in a single 2K League game with eight shots from behind the arc, which was a record he set Wednesday night in a victory over T-Wolves Gaming. The sharpshooter finished with 41 points and managed to dish out eight assists under pressure from double teams. He was the only Bucks Gaming player to score in double figures, but center Plondo did have a big night on the boards, grabbing a game-high 17 rebounds.
Mama Im Dat Man was stellar, scoring a team-high 31 points and dishing out 11 assists while center OneWildWalnut added a double-double of his own with 19 points and 16 rebounds. But what ultimately led to Blazer5 Gaming’s demise was their poor pick-and-roll defense down the stretch, which Bucks Gaming managed to pick apart on their comeback trail.