“What’s funny is that we talked about the game for about an hour,” said Andre Owens. “He was telling me what I should do as a player – be more aggressive instead of always trying to set my teammates up to score. He wanted me to be more aggressive and keep leading. … Help guys out and put them in the right situation to help the team. And that’s exactly what I did.”
What Iverson missed was a stellar performance from Owens, who scored a Week 6-best 25 points. He added 11 boards for his second double-double of the season, as 3’s Company pulled out a thriller to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“Our team was focusing all week on Power because we matched up well with them and it was a must-win,” said Owens. “I kept telling my teammates we’ve got to get all the 50-50 loose balls. I just felt like whoever got the 50-50 loose balls is gonna win the basketball game. And that was the outcome.”
Here’s a rundown of all four games from Week 6:
KILLER 3s 50, BALL HOGS 40
Only a few minutes into this game, Reggie Evans pulled down an offensive rebound – already his third rebound of the game – and went right back up for a thunderous dunk that gave the Killer 3s an 8-2 lead. Evans’ explosiveness set the tone as the Killer 3s led from wire to wire and kept their playoff hopes alive. Evans finished with 15 points and 18 rebounds – his BIG3-leading fourth double-double of the season. Stephen Jackson, second in the league in scoring, poured in 23, just missing a double-double with 9 rebounds. Mo Evans’ only 2 points of the game was the game-winner.
Chauncey Billups returned to action after missing two games. While he finished with just 8 points (his average was 16.0), he hit his fourth 4-pointer of the season (second behind Mike Bibby). Derrick Byars (16 points) and Xavier Silas (14) combined for 30 of the Ball Hogs’ 40 points. The Ball Hogs fell to 1-5. The Killer 3s are 2-4.
3-HEADED MONSTERS 50, TRI-STATE 46
Despite a slow start, the 3-Headed Monsters joined Trilogy as the second team to clinch a playoff spot. There were seven lead changes, and 3-Headed Monsters trailed by as many as 6 in the first half. They trailed for most of the first half before tying it and taking a 25-23 halftime lead on a jumper from Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. Tri-State continued to keep it tight, and took a 41-40 lead on a layup from Bonzi Wells, who finished with a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds). But the 3-Headed Monsters took control from there, ending the game on a 10-4 run and closing it out with a 2-point free throw from captain Rashard Lewis.
As usual, BIG3 scoring leader Lewis was in the middle of the action, leading all scorers with 25 points. Abdul-Rauf had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Lee Nailon led Tri-State with 14 points. The 3-Headed Monsters are 5-1; Tri-State is 1-5.
TRILOGY 51, GHOST BALLERS 36
If the current standings don’t change, this game will have been a playoff preview. Judging by the intensity of this game, that playoff matchup could be a classic. This game was much closer than the final score indicates, and there was plenty of trash-talking between Trilogy’s James White and Ghost Ballers captain Mike Bibby. While the first half was evenly fought, a 3-pointer from Rashad McCants gave Trilogy a 25-20 halftime lead. As the second half progressed, a Ricky Davis 3-pointer brought the Ghost Ballers to within 33-30. That’s when Trilogy took over. After an Al Harrington layup, McCants hit a 4-pointer to put Trilogy up by 9. They finished with an 18-6 run, capped by a 3-pointer from White.
Harrington (17), McCants (15) and White (12) all scored in double figures. Bibby scored 17 for the Ghost Ballers and Davis had 13. Trilogy remains unbeaten at 6-0. The Ghost Ballers fell to .500, at 3-3.
3’S COMPANY 53, POWER 49
For the second straight week, the final game of the day was the most thrilling. With 3’s Company leading through most of the second half, an Owens layup gave them a solid 26-17 halftime lead. Power came back early in the second half, and a Cuttino Mobley jumper put them on top, 38-37. 3’s Company went on an 11-5 run to take a commanding 48-43 lead – only to have Power score 6 straight points to put them on the brink of victory. An Al Thornton layup gave 3’s Company a 50-49 lead. For the first time since Week 1, the “must win by 2” rule extended game action. Owens then drained a three to end it.
It was Owens’ fourth 3-pointer of the game, capping an outstanding day in which Owens finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block and 1 steal. Thornton chipped in with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Power had three players score in double figures: Mobley (23), Rasual Butler (14) and DeShawn Stevenson (12). Power fell to 4-2, while 3’s Company improved to 2-4.
With 3’s Company and the Killer 3s both sitting one game behind the fourth-place Ghost Ballers, their meeting in Week 7 – this Sunday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., shapes up to be the biggest game of the day.
“We’ve just got to take it one game at a time,” said Owens. “I’m not looking too far ahead. We just have to prepare for the Killer 3s.”
Other games at Rupp Arena will be 3-Headed Monsters vs. Ball Hogs, Ghost Ballers vs. Tri-State, and another potential playoff matchup, Power vs. Trilogy.