Big 3

WEEK 9

August 23 17

By Craig Ellenport

The first-ever BIG3 Championship matchup is all set, as Trilogy and the 3-Headed Monsters advanced in the first round of the playoffs Sunday in front of a sold-out crowd at Seattle’s KeyArena.

Trilogy kept its perfect season intact with a 50-39 win over the Ghost Ballers that was not as easy as the score indicated. The 3-Headed Monsters also faced a stiff challenge, as they had to fight to the end in order to hold off Power.

In games that decided final rankings for the remaining eight teams, the Ball Hogs knocked off the Killer 3s and 3’s Company defeated Tri-State.

The BIG3 Championship will be played on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 4:30 p.m. ET at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Here’s a recap of all four Week 9 games:

BALL HOGS 52, KILLER 3S 46

Stephen Jackson, who finished the regular season as the BIG3’s second-leading scorer, had a Week 9-high 27 points, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Ball Hogs. Derrick Byars opened the game with a 3-pointer for the Ball Hogs, but the Killer 3s still ran out to a 25-19 halftime lead behind Jackson. Jackson also scored the first six points of the second half to build a 10-point lead. But that’s when Byars and Xavier Silas – last week’s player of the week – took control. After the Ball Hogs took a 49-46 leads, Byars took a loose ball and sank a 3-pointer for the win.

Three players scored in double figures for the Ball Hogs. Byars finished with 21 points, Silas had 13 points and 8 rebounds, and captain Brian Scalabrine has 12 points.

3’S COMPANY 51, TRI-STATE 48

Tri-State led by as many as seven and held the lead for most of the first half. But 3’s Company came back to tie it at 23, and then Andre Owens stole the ball from Mike James and fed Al Thornton for a layup that gave 3’s Company a 25-23 lead at halftime. Tri-State did come back in the second half – taking a 42-37 lead behind the play of Lee Nailon (18 points) and James (17). But then Owens hit a 4-pointer to bring 3’s Company within 1 and a Thornton jumper gave them a 43-42 lead. After taking a 49-44 lead, James hit a pair of layups to pull within 1, but then Thornton hit the game-winner.

Thornton finished with a game-high 24 points. Owens had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, adding 3 assists and 4 steals. Nailon was Tri-State’s leading scorer, notching a double-double (18, 10).

3-HEADED MONSTERS 50, POWER 46

In the most thrilling game of the day, the 3-Headed Monsters led most of the way but then Power stormed back to make a game of it. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who finished with 19 points, 9 rebounds and a Week 9-best 6 assists, hit a 3-pointer that gave the 3-Headed Monsters a 26-18 halftime lead. But Power came back in the second half. Jerome Williams scored 8 points at the start of the second half and the game was back-and-forth after that. Down 46-44, Power’s Cuttino Mobley blocked an Abdul-Rauf shot and fed it to Williams for a dunk that tied the game at 46.

That’s when Rashard Lewis – playing in front of a packed KeyArena crowd that fondly recalled his days with the SuperSonics – hit back-to-back jumpers to put the game away. Lewis, the BIG3’s leading scorer, led all scorers in this game with 21, adding 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. Power had three players in double figures – DeShawn Stevenson (14), Mobley (13 points, 11 rebounds), and Williams (12 points, 8 rebounds).

TRILOGY 50, GHOST BALLERS 39

With Trilogy looking to stay unbeaten and earn a spot in the championship game, they came out Sunday and took a tough early blow from the Ghost Ballers. Led by strong games from Ricky Davis and Ivan Johnson, the Ghost Ballers jumped out to a 25-17 halftime lead. But then Trilogy went on a 15-0 run in the second half – including 9 from Rashad McCants, who led all scorers with 19 points. Trilogy didn’t take the lead until a free throw from McCants made it 39-37. A James White 3-pointer capped an 18-2 run by Trilogy that sent them to the championship game.

McCants finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 4 steals. Al Harrington had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Ricky Davis had 15 points for the Ghost Ballers and Ivan Johnson had 11.

Power will face the Ghost Ballers in the consolation game Sunday at Las Vegas, followed by Trilogy vs. 3-Headed Monsters in the title game.

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