Moon Over Miami: Jamario Helps 3-Headed Monsters Remain Unbeaten
By Craig Ellenport July 21, 2018
Ice Cube joked on Tuesday that members of the BIG3 staff were traveling to the site of this week’s BIG3 games earlier in the week than usual. Perhaps looking for a little extra time on South Beach? Whether or not that was the case, it was clear BIG3 players were all business when they took to the floor at Miami’s American Airlines Arena.
Every week, it seems that new players are stepping up to make an impact. In Week 5, it was the undefeated 3-Headed Monsters who were the beneficiary. Jamario Moon had yet to play in the BIG3 but on Friday night in Miami, he made a sudden and indelible impact.
Here’s a recap of the Week 5 action:
TRI-STATE 51, GHOST BALLERS 40
“I’m having a great time,” Tri-State’s David Hawkins told Michael Rapaport at halftime. “Winning is always fun.”
Hawkins, who has emerged this season as a serious MVP candidate, scored the game’s first points on a layup and Tri-State never looked back. Even with captain Jermaine O’Neal sitting out with a shoulder injury, Tri-State had little trouble with the winless Ghost Ballers. Whether driving to the net or shooting from long range, Hawkins was on fire. He finished the first half with 16 as Tri-State had a 12-3 run to go into the break with a 26-15 lead. That run included Hawkins’ league-leading third 4-pointer of the season.
Tri-State continued to build on the lead as the second half began. They led by as many as 17 when Ricky Davis started getting a hot hand for the Ghost Ballers. Davis finished with 22, hitting a 4-pointer of his own that brought the score to 49-40. But that’s as close as they’d get. Tri-State coach Julius Erving called a timeout after Davis’ 4-pointer. When play resumed, Nate Robinson took a pass from Hawkins, drove to the net and then dished to Amar’e Soudemire for the game-winning layup. Hawkins had his first BIG3 double-double (25 points, 10 rebounds). Stoudemire had 10 and Robinson had 9.
Tri-State improves to 4-1; the Ghost Ballers are 0-5
KILLER 3S 50, BALL HOGS 38
With both teams at 1-3, thus was a critical game to keep playoff hopes alive. Alan Anderson scored the first 6 points of the game and then Killer 3s co-captain Stephen Jackson hit a 3-pointer to make it 9-0. Not to be outdone, the Ball Hogs went on a 9-2 run of their own to tie the game at 11. After Metta World Peace hit a 3-pointer to give the Killer 3s an 18-15 lead, the Hall Hogs went on a 10-0 run to close out the half. When Andre Owens hit a 3, his Ball Hogs went to the break with a 25-18 lead.
“Stak” Jackson had his squad fired up when the second half began, and they chipped away until another Jackson 3-pointer game his team a 34-33 lead. It was part of a 17-2 run for the Killer 3s that gave them a commanding 45-35 lead. Jackson hit another 3-pointer to make it 48-38, then closed out the game with a layup. Jackson finished with a game-high 22 points and 8 rebounds. Anderson had 12 and Metta World Peace had 10. Owens led the Ball Hogs with 14. Josh Childress had 10 and Jermaine Taylor had 9.
“We needed this win,” said Jackson after the game. “This’ll get us back in the hunt.”
The Killer 3s are 2-3; the Ball Hogs are 1-4
POWER 51, TRILOGY 48
Trilogy players received their 2017 BIG3 Championship rings before the game and then looked to build on the momentum they had from winning their first game of 2018 last week in Detroit. Problem is, they ran into a Power squad that was just as motivated. The result was a knockdown, drag-out fight to the finish. Easily the most physical game of the night, fouls played a key role in the outcome.
Trilogy got off to an 11-2 start thanks to solid play from Rashad McCants, but then Quentin Richardson scored the next 7 as part of a 12-2 Power run. Surprisingly, the BIG3’s leading scorer, Corey Maggette, was held scoreless through most of the first half. Power coach Nancy Lieberman, who was mic’d for FS1, made sure the refs knew what she was thinking.
“Every time Corey Maggette gets the ball, he gets mugged!” Lieberman exclaimed.
Sure enough, Maggette’s first points of the night came on a free throw, giving Power a 20-17 lead. But then Trilogy went on an 8-0 run to reach halftime with a 25-20 lead.
Power came on strong to start the second half, going on a 13-0 run to take a 35-32 lead. It was back and forth from there. Eventually, a McCants 3-pointer gave Trilogy a 48-45 lead. But they couldn’t close the deal. Glen “Big Baby” Davis hit a layup to make it 48-47. Maggette drove to the basket to give Power a 49-48 lead. Power got the ball back and Maggette was fouled by Al Harrington. The resulting free throw won it for Power. After scoring only 2 in the first half, Maggette led Power with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Three other Power players were in double figures: Cuttino Mobley (12), Davis (10) and Richardson (10). McCants had a game-best 17, while Harrington had a double-double (15, 11).
Power is 4-1; Trilogy is 1-4
3-HEADED MONSTERS 50 3’S COMPANY 47
For the first time in BIG3 history, a game was decided on a 4-point shot – but the guy who sank it isn’t who you thought it would be. The 3-Headed Monsters looked to remain the league’s only unbeaten team, even though they are without reigning BIG3 MVP Rashard Lewis. For their part, 3’s Company was also shorthanded here, as co-captain and team scoring leader Baron Davis was out. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf has been making one clutch shot after another for the Monsters, and he hit a pair of early 3-pointers as his squad built a 26-21 halftime lead. But the 3-Headed Monsters leading scorer at the half was Jamario Moon, who just signed with the team last week and was seeing his first action of the season. With Abdul-Rauf sitting most of the second half and Qyntel Woods not as effective as he had been in previous weeks, Moon found himself carrying the Monsters.
But 3’s Company fought back with strong play from Andre Emmett and clutch shooting from captain DerMarr Johnson. A Jason Maxiell layup tied the game at 39, but Moon’s fourth 3-pointer of the game made it 46-41. However, after three straight failed possessions by the Monsters, a Drew Gooden put-back suddenly gave 3’s Company a 47-46 lead. 3-Headed Monsters coach Gary Payton wanted a timeout to get Abdul-Rauf back in the game. Good thing he couldn’t get it. Moon got the ball and went straight for the 4-point circle and knocked down the game-winner.
Moon finished with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Reggie Evans had 10 points and 7 rebounds. Abdul-Rauf finished with 8. Emmett paced 3’s Company with 18. Johnson had 13.
The 3-Headed Monsters are 5-0; 3’s Company is 3-2
The BIG3 will be in Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, on Friday, July 27 for Week 6. Here’s the schedule:
Killer 3s vs. Power
Ghost Ballers vs. Trilogy
Ball Hogs vs. 3-Headed Monsters
Tri-State vs. 3’s Company