Hornets Venom GT Salvages Split with Grizz Gaming Following Game 2 Rally

Sherm Scores 26 PTS in Both Outings, Charlotte Erases 13-PT Second-Half Deficit in Equalizer

By Sam Perley (@sam_perley)

On the brink of getting swept for the first time in the 2021 2K League regular season, Hornets Venom GT played one of its finest defensive halves of basketball to escape Wednesday night’s matchup against Grizz Gaming with a 1-1 split.

Memphis took control quickly in Game 1, building up an eight-point advantage by the start of the fourth quarter. The hosts then opened the frame on a 13-4 run to take a 67-50 lead with under three minutes remaining, providing plenty of cushion for an eventual 82-63 easy victory.

Guard Justin “Sherm” Sherman led Hornets Venom with 26 points and nine assists in the loss, while center Peter “PeteBeBallin” Malin double-doubled with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Zach “Vandi” Vandivier totaled 33 points, 12 assists and just two turnovers for Grizz Gaming, which also got a combined 41 points on 16-of-21 shooting from its three forwards.

Game 2 started off in similar fashion as Grizz Gaming surged to a 13-point lead shortly into the second half. Charlotte would outscore Memphis, 17-9, in the frame though and headed into the fourth trailing 46-43. Down six with 3:51 to go, Sherm’s second-chance three-pointer kicked off an 11-0 run spanning the next 90 seconds to put Charlotte ahead by five.

Grizz Gaming responded with a 4-0 stretch to get back within one, but guard CJ “Rigby” Burnett drained a mid-range jumper at the 52-second mark to bump Hornets Venom’s lead back to three. On the next possession, Memphis forward Kwan “FollowTheGod” Niblack Jr. came up short on a wide-open, second-chance game-tying three-point attempt. PeteBeBallin then secured the board and Rigby hit a pair of free throws to ice the 60-55 comeback victory.

Sherm and Rigby each finished with 26 points and combined to shoot 11-of-19 from three-point range in the triumph, with PeteBeBallin chipping in another eight points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Center Mehyar “AuthenticAfrican” Ahmed-Hassan paced Memphis with seven points, 15 rebounds and three blocks as the Hornets Venom defense held Vandi to just 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting following his Game 1 explosion.

Charlotte outscored Memphis, 34-18, in the second half of Game 2, after surrendering 18+ points in three of its four Game 1 quarters. Grizz Gaming shot just 45.7% from the field in the loss, a significant drop-off from the 70.2% clip it produced in the opener.

Hornets Venom will next return to the court on either Wednesday, July 14 or Thursday, July 15 for its opening series of THE TURN TOURNAMENT presented by AT&T. Catch all the action on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.