Hornets Venom GT Rebounds With 2-0 Win Over Pacers Gaming

 Snubby Scores 30+ PTS in Both Games, Zae Shines in First 2K League Start at Center

Two second-half runs keyed a pair of 10-point victories for Hornets Venom GT on Wednesday, June 24 as they bounced back into the win column with a 2-0 series sweep of Pacers Gaming.

Knotted at 44-44 midway through the third quarter in Game 1, Hornets Venom uncorked a 15-4 stretch to open up an 11-point advantage with about five minutes remaining on the clock. Pacers Gaming got to within seven by the 1:15 mark, but ran out of buckets and stops down the stretch as Charlotte notched a 76-66 opening win.

Guard Justin “Snubby” Stemerman erupted for a career-high 37 points (11 in the fourth quarter) and five assists in the win, while Zaeya “Zae” Ishak had 15 points, a team-record 21 rebounds, five assists and two steals in his debut at the center position. Guard Alex “Expose” Whelan (11 points) and forward Alontae “Gliz” Proctor (10) also scored in double figures.

The Nicolas “Swizurk” Grech (30 points) and Nathaniel “NateKahl” Kahl (19 points) backcourt led Pacers Gaming with 49 points in the loss. Center Jomar “Jomar” Varela-Escapa notched an impressive triple-double, finishing with 10 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and four blocks.

After both teams tallied 17 points in the opening quarter of Game 2, the Pacers Gaming defense ramped up in the second, leading the team to a 30-25 lead at the break. Hornets Venom battled back after halftime though, as the squads entered the fourth tied again at 39.

Charlotte opened the final six minutes on an 8-2 run and eventually held a four-point lead with about two minutes remaining. Snubby then drained an above-the-break three-pointer followed by a runaway dunk on the next possession coming off a defensive stop to go up nine. The sides traded baskets the rest of the way and Charlotte rolled to a 63-53 victory and series sweep.

Snubby racked up another 30 points and a career-high nine assists in the clincher, with half his point total coming in the fourth. Expose (14 points) and Zae (10) also had double-digit scoring performances, with the latter adding 17 rebounds, two steals and four blocks. Lock Gio “Trap” Elizondo chipped in nine points, four assists, five steals (three in the fourth) and three blocks.

NateKahl (14 points), Swizurk (12) and forward Bobby “Bobby Buckets” Perez (11) all scored at least 10 points for Pacers Gaming in the Game 2 defeat. Jomar narrowly missed another double-double, totaling nine points, 20 rebounds, six assists, four steals and four blocks.

Coming off a season-high 21-turnover showing in Game 2 against Jazz Gaming on Tuesday night, Hornets Venom combined for just 17 total giveaways in both contests against Indiana. Charlotte also allowed Pacers Gaming to shoot a mere 46 percent from the field after surrendering a 67 percent clip to Utah one night earlier.

Hornets Venom will be back in action on Monday, June 29 for a road game against Magic Gaming starting at 7 PM EST. Catch the showdown on ESPN mobile, Twitch.TV/NBA2KLeague or YouTube Gaming.

By Sam Perley