Seated courtside along with BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube were Oscar De La Hoya, Dwyane Wade, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, LL Cool J, Jeanie Buss, Jesse Williams, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Lamar Odom, T-Pain, Kenny Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jeffrey Osborne, Raphael Saadiq, Pooch Hall, Gilbert Arenas, Sam Cassell, LaVar Ball, LaMelo Ball and others.
All eight teams will be in action when the playoffs start next Sunday in Seattle. The first two games will feature the four non-playoff teams battling for final consolation rankings. Those games are Ball Hogs vs. Tri-State and Killer 3s vs. 3’s Company.
Following those games, the 3-Headed Monsters face Power and top-seeded Trilogy takes on the Ghost Ballers. The winners of those two games will meet Aug. 26 in Las Vegas for the inaugural BIG3 Championship.
Here’s a recap of all four Week 8 games:
TRI-STATE 51, POWER 42
Mike James (17), Lee Nailon (13) and Dominic McGuire (10) all scored in double figures as Tri-State kept its slim playoff hopes alive (they were later eliminated when the Ghost Ballers won). Power, fueled by DeShawn Stevenson’s Week 8-high 22 points, led by as many as 8 points in the first half, but Tri-State went on a 9-0 run to take a 25-20 lead into halftime. It was a lead they never relinquished. Tri-State’s Bonzi Wells, who scored 8 points and had a game-high 8 rebounds, sank a layup for his second game-winning shot of the season. Stevenson hit 6 3-pointers and finished the season with a BIG3-best 32 threes.
Tri-State finished the regular season 3-5. Power finished the regular season 4-4. Their loss kept the #3 seed up for grabs, with 3’s Company still in contention.
TRILOGY 50, KILLER 3S 41
Trilogy’s bid to complete the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record at first seemed to be very easy. Then things got a little shaky. Then it got easy again. Trilogy busted out to a 7-0 start en route to taking an 18-point lead into halftime. But the Killer 3s opened the second half with a 15-0 run to pull within three at 26-23. That’s when Trilogy’s high-scoring trio of Rashad McCants (game-high 17 points), Al Harrington (16) and James White (10) took over and pulled away.
Brian Cook, who only had 14 points through the first seven weeks, scored 17 for the Killer 3s. Stephen Jackson scored 16, eventually ending in second in the BIG3 scoring race. The Killer 3s finished the season 2-6.
BALL HOGS 50, 3'S COMPANY 47
It was a must-win situation for 3’s Company to stay alive in the playoff hunt, but the Ball Hogs refused to make it easy. The Ball Hogs led by as many as 7 in the first half before 3’s Company went on a 17-4 run to take a 25-19 lead into halftime. A big part of that run was Al Thornton’s 4-point shot – the first of the day and Thornton’s second of the season. In a back-and-forth second half, 3’s Company took a 47-44 lead – but then Xavier Silas hit his second 4-pointer of the season, putting the Ball Hogs within reach of victory. When co-captain Josh Childress sank a layup to end the game, it also ended 3’s Company’s playoff chase.
Silas finished with a game-high 20 points. Childress had 16 and Derrick Byars had 11. Andre Owens led 3’s Company with 19 points and 8 boards. The Ball Hogs finished the regular season 2-6. The loss by 3’s Company (3-5) both eliminated them from the playoffs and clinched the #3 seed for Power.
GHOST BALLERS 50, 3-HEADED MONSTERS 33
While the 3-Headed Monsters entered the day locked into the #2 seed, they did still have one thing to play for: Team captain Rashard Lewis needed 16 points to clinch the BIG3 scoring title. Lewis got the 16 he needed by the start of the second half (he finished with 18). The Ghost Ballers led 25-20 at the half. Once Lewis opened the second-half scoring with a jumper that made the score 25-22, the Ghost Ballers went on a 15-4 run that included Mike Bibby’s league-leading sixth 4-pointer of the season. For the first time all season, four players on one team finished in double figures: Bibby (13), Ricky Davis (13), Ivan Johnson (12) and Marcus Banks (10).
The 3-Headed Monsters finished the season 6-2. The Ghost Ballers improved to 4-4 and clinched the #4 seed.