Big 3

CHAMPIONSHIP

August 26 17

By Craig Ellenport

After an inaugural BIG3 season that featured fierce competition, thrilling action and fantastic finishes, Trilogy emerged as the class of the league by completing an undefeated season to win the inaugural BIG3 Championship. In a back-and-forth, closely-contested matchup featuring the league’s two top teams, Trilogy overcame a first-half deficit to defeat 3-Headed Monsters 51-46. BIG3 star and league No. 1 overall draft pick Rashad McCants earned the first ever BIG3 Championship MVP with a game-high 22 points, including the final five points to clinch the title.

For most of the first half, it appeared as if the electric crowd of 8,249 at MGM Grand Garden Arena and the millions more watching live on FOX would see Trilogy lose for the first time all season. Coached by NBA legend Rick Mahorn and led by captain Kenyon Martin and co-captain Al Harrington, Trilogy stormed back from an 11-point deficit in the first half and then held on against the pesky 3-Headed Monsters to raise the BIG3 Championship Trophy.

The stars came out to MGM Grand Garden Arena to bear witness to bashistory. The BIG3 Championship featured a star-studded crowd that included 50 Cent, James Harden, Cedric the Entertainer, Evander Holyfield, Terrell Owens, Jeff Gordon, Swizz Beatz, Dana White, Fabolous, Tyga, Jeezy, Flavor Flav, Tyronn Lue, and Jason Terry.

3-Headed Monsters led by as many as 11 in the first half thanks to the shooting of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. Held to just two points in the Week 2 game against Trilogy, Abdul-Rauf had eight points by halftime. McCants led the Trilogy comeback with 10 of his 12 first-half points after the 3-Headed Monsters built its lead. A Harrington dunk gave Trilogy its first lead of the game as they hit halftime, 25-24.

Trilogy’s James White opened the second half scoring with a 3-pointer and later hitting another to give Trilogy a 33-28 lead. Abdul-Rauf then fired back with a pair of 3-pointers to put the 3-Headed Monsters ahead, 34-33.

Although Trilogy struggled from the foul line in the first half, they were able to turn things around when it counted. Successful free throws from White and McCants gave Trilogy a 37-34 lead. Following an Abdul-Rauf layup, McCants hit a three to push the lead to 40-36. Jumpers from Dion Glover and White gave Trilogy its largest lead of the day at 44-38 before BIG3 MVP Rashard Lewis took charge. After a quiet first half, Lewis scored six of the next eight points to tie the game at 46.

McCants tried a 3-pointer but was fouled by Abdul-Rauf. The resulting 3-point free throw gave Trilogy a 49-46 lead. Keeping possession after the foul, McCants then took the jumper that gave Trilogy a win and the first-ever BIG3 title.

With the victory, Trilogy will remain intact for the 2018 BIG3 season, while 3-Headed Monsters will send one player back into the BIG3 Draft Player Pool. The BIG3 and Fox Sports recently announced a renewed broadcast deal for the second season, which will tip off in Summer 2018.

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