Week 7: Playoff Spots Cemented in Boston; Power Is the New No. 1
By Craig Ellenport August 4, 2018
The BIG3 rolled into historic TD Garden in Boston for Week 7. With a plethora of former Boston Celtics players taking the court, the intensity was high. And when the smoke cleared, the four teams that will advance to the playoff in two weeks were set.
For a while, it looked as if there would be high drama in Week 8 with at least one playoff spot still on the line. But after trailing by 11 in the second half of their game against the Killer 3s, Tri-State roared back to win. And with that victory, both tri-State and 3’s Company clinched playoff berths while the Killer 3s were eliminated.
Just as monumental, the last remaining undefeated squad, the 3-Headed Monsters, were handed their first defeat. Even worse for the Monsters, their loss at the hands of Power dropped them from the top spot in the BIG3 standings.
Here’s a recap of all the Week 7 action:
TRILOGY 51, BALL HOGS 45
One week after defending BIG3 champion Trilogy was eliminated from playoff contention, they had to take the court without their leading scorer and rebounder, co-captain Al Harrington. And it showed early, as the Ball Hogs led throughout the first half. Led by a strong effort from Andre Owens, the Ball Hogs went to halftime with a 26-20 lead.
But Trilogy slowly clawed its way back. After opening the second half on a 15-6 roll, Trilogy took a 35-32 lead. The game went back-and-forth from there. DeShawn Stevenson hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 35 and then Jermaine Taylor’s 3-pointer put the Ball Hogs back on top. Trilogy came back with strong play from Derrick Byars and Rashad McCants. After tying the game at 43, Trilogy finally pulled away. A McCants dunk made it 49-43 and then a McCants layup on their next possession ended it. With Harrington out of the lineup, four Trilogy players finished in double figures – Byars (17), Al Thornton (12), McCants (10) and James White (10). Stevenson and Owens led the Ball Hogs with 14 each.
Trilogy is 2-5; the Ball Hogs are 1-6
TRI-STATE 51, KILLER 3s 45
As was the case in Game 1 Friday, the team that trailed at halftime of Game 2 came back to win. And in this case, it was a playoff-clinching win for Tri-State. Tri-State captain Jermaine O’Neal returned to action after missing three weeks with a shoulder injury and he led his team with 8 points in the first half. But the Killer 3s – looking to stave off playoff elimination – came out hot. Led by Stephen Jackson and Mike James, the Killer 3s went into halftime with a 27-21 lead.
And they kept the pressure on in the second half. A 3-pointer from Jackson and two 3’s from Alan Anderson helped the Killer 3s build a 40-29 lead. That’s when Tri-State came roaring back. After scoring eight straight to close within three, Nate Robinson hit a 4-pointer to give Tri-State its first lead since the opening moments of the game. They pulled away from there, and David Hawkins’ game-winning jumper capped a 22-5 Tri-State run. Hawkins, a leading MVP candidate, recorded his first career double-double, leading his team with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Robinson and Amar’e Stoudemire had 12 apiece for Tri-State. For the Killer 3s, Jackson had a double-double (15,11) and Anderson had 13 points.
Tri-State is 5-2; the Killer 3s are 2-5
POWER 51, 3-HEADED MONSTERS 40
By knocking off the previously unbeaten 3-Headed Monsters, Power literally changed the balance of Power in the BIG3. Holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, Power can now clinch the top seed in the playoffs next week with a win over the Ball Hogs or a 3-Headed Monsters loss to the Ghost Ballers.
The 3-Headed Monsters had been 6-0 despite being without captain and reigning MVP Rashard Lewis for most of the season. Newcomer Qyntel Woods had been a valuable addition to the team, but he was out for Friday’s game. The thinned-out roster was evident. After both teams exchanged early baskets, Power went on a 17-4 run that sent them to halftime with a 25-16 lead.
Power continued to pour it on. Cuttino Mobley drove to the basket and sank a layup that made it 31-18. At 35-22, Mobley drove again but this time dished to a wide-open Chris Andersen for a thunder dunk. After Power took an insurmountable 47-30 lead, the Monsters staged a modest comeback with 10 straight, but after a Corey Maggette free throw made it 49-40, former Celtic Glen “Big Baby” Davis put in a reverse layup for the game-winner. Davis finished with 15, while Corey Maggette led Power with 16. For the 3-Headed Monsters, Reggie Evans had his league-leading fourth double-double of the season, with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Power is 6-1; the 3-Headed Monsters are 6-1
3’S COMPANY 51, GHOST BALLERS 33
If you expected 3’s Company to let down a bit since they already clinched a playoff spot earlier in the night, think again. Sure, the Killer 3s’ loss to Tri-State ensured 3’s Company would be in the postseason. But clearly they’re looking for more. Week 6 Player of the Week Andre Emmett scored the first 8 points of the game and 3’s Company never looked back.
After taking a 25-14 lead into halftime, 3’s Company maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half. Carlos Boozer hit a 3-pointer for the Ghost Ballers that made it 31-23, but that’s as close as they got. Emmett, who scored 23 last week, led the way with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Drew Gooden, who finished with 10, hit a 3-pointer for his second game-winning shot of the season. Boozer and Ricky Davis each had 15 for the Ghost Ballers.
3’s Company is 5-2; the ghost Ballers are 1-6
The BIG3 travels to Infinite Energy Arena in Atlanta next Friday for the final week of the regular season. Here’s the Week 8 slate of games:
Tri-State vs. Trilogy
Ball Hogs vs. Power
3-Headed Monsters vs. Ghost Ballers
Killer 3s vs. 3’s Company