The BIG3 League playoffs took place in Seattle, Washington in front of a sold out crowd at KeyArena last Saturday. NBA notables like Bill Russell and hometown hero Jamal Crawford were there, along with countless fans wearing Seattle SuperSonics jerseys, excited to see ex-Sonics Gary “The Glove” Payton and Rashard Lewis.
Payton and Lewis did not disappoint their former fan base, advancing their team, 3 Headed Monsters, to the first-ever BIG3 Championship. On Saturday, August 26, 3 Headed Monsters will battle it out against Trilogy for top honors in Las Vegas. The 3rd ranked Power and 4th ranked Ghost Ballers will complete for consolation ranking.
The 2017 BIG3 Championship trophy was unveiled over the weekend, and it’s a beauty. The 24 karat gold prize was crafted by the makers of the Kentucky Derby trophy.
But enough about the bling, here’s your Week 9 / Payoffs recap.
Week 9 Playoff Recap: Consolation Games
Ball Hogs 52, Killer 3’s 46
In the battle to avoid last place, former Los Angeles Clipper Stephen Jackson scored a game high 27 points for the Killer 3’s. It was not enough to beat the Ball Hogs, who fought back to overcome a 10-point deficit in the second half to win the game. Ball Hogs were led by Derrick Byars (21 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and Xavier Silas (13 points, 8 rebounds). Brian Cook was the second highest scorer for Killer 3’s with 9 points. Both teams finish the season at 2-6, but the Ball Hogs avoid last place due to a tie-breaker.
Jackson finished the BIG3 regular season as the second-leading scorer.
3’s Company 51, Tri-State 48
The dynamic duo of Al Thornton and Andre Owens combined for 40 points and 18 rebounds to propel 3’s Company over Tri-State 51-48. Tri-State dominated in the paint, outscoring 3’s Company by 22 points. However, 3’s Company’s bench made up the difference by outscoring Tri-State’s bench by 21 in the matchup. Thornton, who hit the game winner, led all scorers with 24 points. Owens finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Lee Nailon was Tri-State’s leading scorer with 18 points and 10 boards. Mike James also hit double figures with 17 points. Both teams finished the regular season at 3-5 but 3’s Company claims the 5th place slot via tie-breaker.
Week 9 Playoff Recap: Semifinal Games
3 Headed Monsters 50, Power 46
As if scripted for maximum emotional impact, former Seattle Supersonics Payton and Lewis advanced their team, 3 Headed Monsters, to the first-ever BIG3 Championship in an electric game in front of a welcoming home crowd.
Payton, who coaches the squad, exited the tunnel to a standing ovation.
3 Headed Monsters jumped out to an early lead in the charged contest, and led by 8 at the half. Power fought back in the second half, behind a combined 28 points from DeShawn Stevenson, Cuttino Mobley and Jerome Williams. Despite the valiant team effort, Power fell short. Two game-ending shots by Lewis secured the win for 3 Headed Monsters. Lewis nailed a jumper to break a 46-46 tie and give the Monsters a 2-point advantage, and then sealed the 50-46 victory with a hook shot. Lewis finished with a game-high 21 points and thunderous cheers from fans. Lewis also had 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had a solid game for the Monsters as well, finishing with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Power had three players in double figures –Stevenson (14 points), Mobley (13 points, 11 rebounds), and Williams (12 points, 8 rebounds).
3 Headed Monsters will head into the finals with a 6-2 record. Power finishes the season with a record of 4-4.
Trilogy 50, Ghost Ballers 39
Trilogy remained unbeaten, rolling over George Gervin's Ghost Ballers 50-39. Ghost Ballers led by as much as nine in the second half, behind solid performances from Ricky Davis and Ivan Johnson, but were unable to hold off Trilogy, who went on a 15-0 run ignited by a 3-point shot from Rashad McCants to pull out the win. McCants finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for Trilogy. Al Harrington added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Davis was the top scorer for Ghost Ballers, finishing the game with 15. Johnson added 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Ghost Ballers finish the season with a 4-4 record and 4th place in the league standings while Trilogy remains perfect with a record of 8-0 and 1st place standing.