T-Wolves Gaming squared off against Blazer5 Gaming in the championship round of THE TICKET, powered by AT&T with a trip to the playoffs on the line. Blazer5 Gaming entered the game hot, having won its last three tournament matchups in convincing sweeps. T-Wolves Gaming, last year’s NBA 2K League champs, had to defend its No. 10 seed.
The two teams were even at 14 after the first quarter, but Blazer5 Gaming used a strong second quarter to take a 33-26 halftime lead. Mama Im Dat Man scored 17 points through the first two quarters to lead all scorers. T-Wolves Gaming came back in the second half, and the game came down to the wire. Down 60-54 with under two minutes to play, T-Wolves Gaming went on a 7-0 run to take the lead 61-60 on a transition dunk. Both teams then went on 4-0 runs to get to 65-64. Mama Im Dat Man hit a wide-open three with 13.3 seconds remaining to re-take the lead 67-65. BearDaBeast came up court and drained a three of his own just inside of six seconds to play to go up one. MaJe7stic missed a three as time expired, and T-Wolves Gaming pulled out a close, one-point victory to go up 1-0 in the series.
BearDaBeast finished with 33 points (including his go-ahead three) and 10 assists, while the T-Wolves’ frontcourt combined for 24 points and 17 boards. Mama Im Dat Man came up tied with a game-high 33 points to go with seven assists, while OneWildWalnut double-doubled in the losing effort.
In a must-win Game 2, Blazer5 Gaming got out to an early 23-19 lead, with Mama Im Dat Man scoring 12 and MaJe7tic contributing 11 to combine for all of the team’s first-quarter points. Mama Im Dat Man scored eight more in the second quarter to lead Blazer5 Gaming to a 44-30 halftime lead which it would not relinquish in the second half. Over the final two quarters of the contest, Blazer5 Gaming outscored T-Wolves Gaming 42-25 to win 86-55 and even the series at one game apiece. Mama Im Dat Man led the way with 41 points, and MaJe7tic posted 27 in the blowout victory, while FEAST and BearDaBeast did the heavy lifting on offense for T-Wolves Gaming.
In the decisive Game 3, Blazer5 Gaming took a 14-12 first-quarter lead, while Mama Im Dat Man and BearDaBeast traded buckets, each posting eight points. The quality scoring continued in the second quarter, as both guards finished the half with 14 points, with Blazer5 Gaming up 29-24 at the break. The two teams kept it close in the second half, and Blazer5 Gaming took a narrow 41-39 lead into the fourth quarter. Up just three with four minutes remaining, Blazer5 Gaming went on a 15-8 run to go up by 10 and put the game out of reach. T-Wolves Gaming got within two possessions, but some late free throws from Blazer5 Gaming pushed the lead to 66-59, which was the final score. As expected, Mama Im Dat Man came through in a big way, going for 33 points and eight assists in the series-clinching win.
With the win, Blazer5 Gaming has earned a playoff berth after sitting on the outside looking in as the 11 seed prior to the tournament victory. T-Wolves Gaming are eliminated from the playoffs and will not get the chance to repeat as 2K League champions.