Week 2: Charlotte Recap
By Craig Ellenport July 3, 2017
Since BIG3 teams don’t have regional affiliations, co-captain Al Harrington decided to set up a group text last Thursday with his Trilogy teammates.
“We got on the group text and started talking strategy,” said Harrington. “Everybody just got a chance to voice their opinion on what they thought we should do. And it worked.
Playing Game 1 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday Trilogy became the first 2-0 team in this inaugural season of BIG3 play with a 50-37 win over the 3-Headed Monsters. For good measure, Harrington hit the game-winning shot.
“We’re all playing to win so it doesn’t matter tome who hits the shot,” said Harrington. “It just so happened the last shot came to me and I was able to deliver.”
The second stop in the BIG3’s first season drew another huge crowd. “We’re off to a great start,” said Harrington, talking about both his team and the league as a whole. Harrington said he could tell that all BIG3 players stepped up their game with a week under their belts.
“To me it was a little – not easier – but they cleaned up a few things from last week. The biggest difference was shortening the games to 50 instead of 60. “The guys were really able to put all their skills out on display. I didn’t get to see all the other games, but I would think that for the people watching at home it should be a much better product out there.”
Here’s a recap of all four Week 2 games:
TRILOGY 50, 3-HEADED MONSTERS 37
James White (7 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) opened the scoring Sunday with a 3-pointer and Trilogy never looked back. They jumped out to a 12-4 lead and went into halftime with a 25-9 lead. The 3-Headed Monsters mounted a slight comeback and actually outscored Trilogy in the second half. 3-HM’s Rashard Lewis scored 17, while Eddie Basden added 8 points and 8 rebounds and Kwame Brown had 6 points, 6 rebounds and a pair of assists, but it wasn’t enough. Trilogy maintained a double-digit lead behind Harrington’s 20 points and 7 rebounds and Rashad McCants’ 13 points.
Trilogy is 2-0. The 3-Headed Monsters are 1-1.
POWER 50, KILLER 3s 45
Power joined Trilogy as the only other 2-0 squad after two weeks of BIG3 play, but it wasn’t easy. The biggest hurdle was the BIG3 debut of Killer 3s captain Chauncey Billups, who missed last week’s game but showed up in Charlotte with a vengeance. Billups, who finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, hit one of his two 4-pointers to open the second half and give the Killer 3s a 33-24 lead. The score was 39-26 when DeShawn Stevenson hit a 3-pointer that started an 11-0 run for Power. Paul McPherson’s dunk tied it at 41, and Power pulled away from there. Cuttino Mobley’s 2-point free throw closed it out.
Mobley led all scorers with 23. McPherson had 10 points and 7 rebounds. Stevenson had 15, including three 3-pointers. Stephen Jackson led the Killer 3s (0-2) with 18 points. Reggie Evans had 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Power is 2-0, while the Killer 3s are 0-2.
BALL HOGS 50, TRI-STATE 44
Tri-State jumped out to leads of 10-2 and 17-5, led by Mike James (17 points) and Bonzi Wells (11 points, 7 rebounds). They led by 10 at halftime and built up to a 15-point lead in the second half before the Ball Hogs stormed back. Trailing 44-39, the Ball Hogs scored the last 11 points of the game. Rasual Butler, who scored 19 points, tied the game at 44 with one of his three 3-pointers. A Butler dunk followed, giving the Ball Hogs their first lead of the game. Derrick Byars, who finished with 19 points and 7 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer to close the game.
The Ball Hogs are 1-1. Tri-State is 0-2.
GHOST BALLERS 50, 3’S COMPANY 45
Like the Ball Hogs, the Ghost Ballers also overcame a 10-point halftime deficit. After a back-and-forth start to the game, Al Thornton (11 points, 4 rebounds) hit a 3-pointer that gave 3’s Company a 28-18 halftime edge. Led by DerMarr Johnson (14 points, 8 rebounds) and Andre Owens (14, 7), 3’s Company maintained a 36-26 lead midway through the second half. That’s when the Ghost Ballers got moving with back-to-back 3-pointers by Mo Evans (7 points, 6 rebounds) and Mike Bibby (team-best 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists). After a little more back-and-forth, a Thornton dunk gave 3’s Company a 45-40 lead – but then Ivan Johnson took control and the Ghost Ballers scored the last 10 points of the game.
Johnson slammed home three straight dunks, one of which drew a Thornton foul and resulted in a 3-point play. Up 47-45, Johnson pulled down a defensive rebound and Bibby was fouled after making a dunk. The made free throw gave Ghost Ballers the win.
The Ghost Ballers and 3’s Company are both 1-1.
Next up for the BIG3: Week 3 at the Bok Center in Tulsa, Okla. Trilogy looks to remain undefeated when they face Allen Iverson’s 3’s Company, and Harrington feels pretty good about his squad.
“Our guys made shots today,” said Harrington. “When you’re making jump shots you’re going to be really tough to beat. Our guys made a couple of tough ones and were able to get that big lead.”
At 2-0, Harrington feels good about calling his team one of the early favorites to win the first-ever BIG3 championship – though he also thinks one of the 0-2 teams might be just as dangerous.
“I think at this stage it’s probably us and the Killer 3s,” he said. “Even though they’re 0-2, they’ve got Chauncey back. It might take another game for him to get back into rhythm, but they should be tough to beat.”