Hornets Venom Falls to Jazz Gaming in Back-to-Back Opener

A tough overtime loss for Hornets Venom GT in Game 1 against Jazz Gaming – one of the NBA 2K League’s hottest teams – proved to be too tough a hole to climb out of as the latter rolled its way to a 2-0 series victory on Tuesday, June 23.

Hornets Venom got off to a solid start in the opening contest, holding six-point leads over Utah at the end of both the first and second quarters. Still ahead 61-57 with 45 seconds left on the game clock, Charlotte surrendered a 4-0 run and failed to get a game-winning jumper to fall at the end of regulation, sending things to overtime.

Utah built up a three-point lead with about a minute remaining in the extra frame before consecutive Hornets Venom turnovers both leading to baskets at the other end helped seal a 75-68 victory for the hosts.

Guard Justin “Snubby” Stemerman finished with a season-high 31 points in the loss, guards Alex“Expose” Whelan added 26 points and four assists and center Alontae “Gliz” Proctor racked up seven points and 15 rebounds in his season debut against his former team. Utah got a 37-point outburst from guard Kimanni “Splashy” Ingram, while center Spencer “Ria” Wyman added 21 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three blocks.

Now needing to pull off the reverse sweep, Hornets Venom fell behind 22-6 after the opening quarter of Game 2. Play steadied a bit in the second quarter, but Utah outscored the visitors 30-14 in the third to put to rest any hopes of a comeback win, cruising to a 97-55 blowout decision.

Snubby finished with a team-high 15 points and eight assists in the loss, with lock Gio “Trap” Elizondo (season-high 11 points) and Expose (11) following close behind in the scoring column. Forward Shaka “Yeah I Compete” Browne (29 points) and Ria (26 points) both had 20-point showings for Jazz Gaming, with the Utah center also adding 16 rebounds, seven assists and seven steals and two blocks.

Charlotte committed just 11 turnovers in its overtime Game 1 loss, although coughed it up a season-high 21 times in the ensuing contest. Jazz Gaming shot 67 percent from the field on the night, roughly nine points higher than Hornets Venom opponents had combined to shoot in the regular season so far heading into the matchup.

Hornets Venom will be back in action for a home game against Pacers Gaming tonight starting at 9 PM EST. Catch the game on Twitch.TV/2KLeague or YouTube Gaming.

by Sam Perley