Published on August 22nd, 2017 | by Landon Buford0
BIG3 Championship Matchup Emerges in Seattle
SEATTLE, WA – August 21, 2017 — To a rousing, standing ovation from 8,583 fans, BIG3 brought professional basketball and NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton and All-Star Rashard Lewis back to Seattle, pulling out all the stops to deliver the best and toughest-fought competition of the BIG3 season. With pride and championship contention on the line for all 8 teams, fans of all ages who filled the sold-out arena were treated for aggressive, professional basketball, as well as entertainment by Seattle hip-hop star Sir Mix-a-Lot who performed hit songs “Posse on Broadway” and “Baby, Got Back.” Seated Courtside alongside BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube was NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell, Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman, NBA star Jamal Crawford, and others.
In the most thrilling and competitive game of the day, the stakes for 3 Headed Monsters were at an all-time high with Seattle fans emotionally invested in hometown heroes Gary Payton and Rashard Lewis who advanced their team to the first-ever BIG3 championship finals. Down at the close of the first half 26-18, Power’s DeShawn Stevenson, Cuttino Mobley, and Jerome Williams put forth everything they had to fight back with a team-combined 28 points in the second half. It wasn’t enough, though, even after Jerome ‘Junk Yard Dog’ Williams completed a huge slam-dunk to tie the game at 46.
Bringing the Seattle crowd to its effort, Lewis nailed a jumper to push his team to a 48-46 lead. On the following possession, Lewis sunk the game-winning shot, bringing the KeyArena crowd to a thunderous standing ovation. With a 50-46 win, 3 Headed Monsters advance to the Championship Finals with an impressive overall record of 7-2 on the season.
For the final game of the day, Trilogy (entering 8-0) took the court playing not only to go on to the BIG3 Finals in Vegas next weekend, but also to keep their perfect record intact. Ghost Ballers rose to the challenge early, though, behind heroic efforts of Ricky Davis and Ivan Johnson, who brought the team to a 25-17 lead at halftime based in part on a huge 4-point shot from Davis early in the game that led off to shift the momentum.
At the beginning of the 2nd half, Ghost Ballers continued to display dominant basketball as fans began to wonder if they were witnessing the fall of the BIG3’s best team. Midway through the half, though, the energy shifted fast as Trilogy went on a 15-0 run kicked off by McCants’ 3 point shot (and 9 total points during the run). With Trilogy leading 49-37, McCants deflected and stole a Ghost Ballers’ pass. He quickly dished the ball off to James White, who was wide open in the corner behind the 3 degree line. In dramatic fashion, White launched the shot as thousands inside KeyArena watched the globe drop in, sealing the 50-37 victory, keeping Trilogy’s perfect season alive, and clinching a trip to Vegas for the first ever BIG3 Championship game.
Immediately after winning their games, 3 Headed Monsters and Trilogy were treated to a glimpse of the 2017 BIG3 Championship trophy, which was unveiled in Seattle for the first time. The 24 karat gold trophy was crafted by S. R. BLACKINTON, makers of the Kentucky Derby trophy for over 40 consecutive years, and will be awarded to the first-ever BIG3 champions after the deciding game this Saturday in Las Vegas.
Right away after winning their games, 3 Headed Monsters and Trilogy were treated to a glimpse of the 2017 BIG3 Championship trophy, which was unveiled in Seattle for the first time. The 24 karat gold trophy was crafted by S. R. BLACKINTON, makers of the Kentucky Derby trophy for over 40 consecutive years, and will be awarded to the first-ever BIG3 champions after the deciding game this Saturday in Las Vegas.
Next week, BIG3 will move to Las Vegas, NV for the Championship Finals at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, August 26. The top two teams, Trilogy and 3 Headed Monsters will battle it out for the championship title with the 3rd ranked Power and 4th ranked Ghost Ballers competing for consolation ranking. The BIG3 Championship Finals will air live on FOX at 1:30PM PST / 4:30PM EST ahead of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor which takes place later that evening – making Las Vegas the center of the sports and entertainment world as it hosts both highly anticipated results on the same day.
Killer 3’s (46) vs. Ball Hogs (52)
Coming off a valiant effort last week in the last regular season game, falling just short against Kenyon Martin and Rashad McCants’ undefeated Trilogy, Killer 3’s took on the Ball Hogs for a battle to avoid being labeled the last placed team in the BIG3.
Tri-State (48) vs. 3’s Company (51)
Despite Stephen Jackson’s huge game (27 of his team’s 46 points – including a 4 point shot – and 6 rebounds), Killer 3’s fell short of the Ball Hogs after Derrick Byars grabbed the ball, cleared it out past the 3 point line, and swished a game-winning 3-point shot to cap his 21-point night.
Last week’s Player of the Week, Xavier Silas, contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds in addition to Seattle fan-favorite Brian Scalabrine’s 12 points.
Ball Hogs finished the season in 7th place while Killer 3’s ended at the bottom as the 8th place team.
Tri-State, after hoping to embrace into the playoffs with a win in Los Angeles only to have their hopes dashed by a Ghost Ballers win in the final game of the day last week, faced off against Allen Iverson’s 3’s Company which limped into Seattle after being upset by Ghost Ballers in Los Angeles. Tri-State, coached by NBA Hall of Famer and all-time great Dr. J, was led by strong performances from Lee Nailon (18 dots, 10 rebounds) and Mike James (17 points). However, it wasn’t enough to overcome dominant showings by 3’s Company’s Al Thornton (24 points, 7 boards) and Andre Owens (16 peaks, 11 rebounds)
With 3’s Company leading 49 to 48, Owens, who finished, top-five in BIG3 points, rebounds, assists, and steals, attempted a fade away jumper that was rebounded by teammate Al Thornton who laid it up for the game-winning basket.
3’s Company finished as the 5th place team while Tri-Stat finished in 6th place.
3 Headed Monsters (50) vs. Power (46)
The afternoon heated up for game 3 which featured the first championship contender matchup of the day. 3 Headed Monsters, led by Seattle favorites Gary Payton and Rashard Lewis, entered the playoffs as the 2-seed facing off against 3-seed Power. Rashard Lewis, who played 9 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics, thrilled a sold out arena in Seattle by scoring 21 points and pulling in 9 rebounds in a hard-fought victory against the closely ranked Power. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf added 6 points and 9 rebounds in the triumph.
Power kept the game close early, but fell behind 28 to 18 at the half. They continued to battle, eventually taking the lead behind Jerome Williams’ 8-point scoring flurry at the start of the 2nd half. The game remained neck-and-neck until home-crowd favorite Rashard Lewis took over the game, draining a jump shot to push his team ahead 48-46. In the final possession, Lewis attempted a three-point shot that was rebounded by Abdul-Rauf and dished back to Lewis, who laid it in for the win, setting off the Seattle crowd into a frenzy.
Power’s Cuttino Mobley contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds, while DeShawn Stevenson added 14 points and 6 rebounds. However, Power was eliminated from championship contention by 3 Headed Monsters, which moves on to the championship finals.
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Trilogy (50) vs. Ghost Ballers (39)
Trilogy entered the playoff week in Seattle as the 1-seed determined to keep their undefeated season against the 4-seed Ghost Ballers. Stepping up to the challenge, Ghost Ballers began the game on a mission station, keeping the game close and pulling ahead 25-17 as the 2nd half came to a close. As the 2nd half began, Ghost Ballers continued to pass, eventually reaching a 32-23 advantage. As the game progressed, Ghost Ballers began to lose energy just as Trilogy went on a 15-0 tear behind Rashad McCants 19 points and 10 rebounds and Al Harrington’s 14 points and 5 rebounds. Ghost Ballers’ Ricky Davis put up 15 points while Ivan Johnson contributed 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Trilogy remains undefeated and advance to the BIG3’s first-ever championship game in Las Vegas to battle for the title and ended the season with a completely unblemished record against Rashard Lewis’ 2nd place 3 Headed Monsters.