After an opening night Friday in which the closest games were decided by 16 points, the NBA 2K Players Tournament provided a much more competitive day Sunday, as eight players concluded Round 1 play.
The best game of the day — and the first round — was between No. 4 seed Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and No. 13 seed Rui Hachimura of the Washington Wizards.
After three teams won with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, Hachimura went with the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James, while Mitchell countered with the Brooklyn Nets — whose lineup included the injured Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
With his Lakers up two and 4.9 seconds to play, Hachimura went to the line with Danny Green and a chance to put the game away. Instead, Green made the first free throw but missed the second, giving Mitchell’s Nets one shot at sending the game to overtime. But Spencer Dinwiddie’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was off target, and Hachimura escaped with a 74-71 win.
He will next play Phoenix’s Devin Booker, who topped 12th-seeded Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets 85-75 in the tournament’s 5-12 matchup. Booker used the Bucks while Porter was on the Lakers.
The other two games were more like Friday night’s blowouts, starting with the day’s first game. Eighth-seeded Montrezl Harrell, playing as his own Los Angeles Clippers, blew past No. 9 seed Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers 73-51. Sabonis was also playing as his own team.
In the day’s final game, No. 6 seed Andre Drummond of the Cleveland Cavaliers blew out No. 11 seed and current free agent DeMarcus Cousins 101-49. Like the Mitchell-Hachimura game, the Lakers got the better of the Nets in that one.
The quarterfinals are scheduled for Tuesday night on ESPN2, and the semifinals and final will air April 11 on ESPN. The champion will get $100,000 to donate to the coronavirus-relief charity of his choice.
All games are available live on the NBA or NBA 2K Twitter, Twitch, YouTube and Facebook channels.
–No. 16 Derrick Jones Jr. vs. No. 8 Montrezl Harrell
–No. 5 Devin Booker vs. No. 13 Rui Hachimura
–No. 6 Andre Drummond vs. No. 14 Patrick Beverly
–No. 2 Trae Young vs. No. 10 DeAndre Ayton
–Field Level Media