August 21, 2017

BIG3 Championship Playoffs Bring Pro Basketball Back to Seattle


-- BIG3 Brings NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton and All-Star Rashard Lewis Home to Seattle; Thrilled Crowd Rises To Its Feet to Cheer Hometown Heroes To Playoff Victory --

-- BIG3 Moves to Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, August 26 at 1:30p PST / 4:30p EST for First Ever Championship Finals Ahead of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Fight Later In the Evening 

To a rousing, standing ovation from 8,583 fans, BIG3 brought professional basketball and NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton and All-Star Rashard Lewis back to Seattle, pulling out all the stops to deliver the best and hardest-fought competition of the BIG3 season. With pride and championship contention on the line for all 8 teams, fans of all ages who filled the sold-out arena were treated to aggressive, professional basketball, as well as entertainment by Seattle hip-hop star Sir Mix-a-Lot who performed hit songs “Posse on Broadway” and “Baby Got Back.” Seated courtside alongside BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube was NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell, Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman, NBA star Jamal Crawford, and others.

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In the most thrilling and competitive game of the day, the stakes for 3 Headed Monsters were at an all-time high with Seattle fans emotionally invested in hometown heroes Gary Payton and Rashard Lewis who advanced their team to the first-ever BIG3 championship finals. Down at the end of the first half 26-18, Power’s DeShawn Stevenson, Cuttino Mobley and Jerome Williams put forth everything they had to fight back with a team-combined 28 points in the second half. It wasn’t enough, though, even after Jerome ‘Junk Yard Dog’  Williams completed a huge slam-dunk to tie the game at 46.

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Bringing the Seattle crowd to its feat, Lewis nailed a jumper to push his team to a 48-46 lead. On the next possession, Lewis sunk the game-winning shot, bringing the KeyArena crowd to a thunderous standing ovation. With a 50-46 win, 3 Headed Monsters advance to the Championship Finals with an impressive overall record of 7-2 on the season.

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For the final game of the day, Trilogy (entering 8-0) took the court playing not only to advance to the BIG3 Finals in Vegas next weekend, but also to keep their perfect record intact. Ghost Ballers rose to the challenge early, though, behind heroic efforts from Ricky Davis and Ivan Johnson who brought the team to a 25-17 lead at halftime based in part on a huge 4-point shot from Davis early in the game that began to shift the momentum.

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At the start of the 2nd half, Ghost Ballers continued to display dominant basketball as fans began to wonder if they were witnessing the fall of the BIG3’s best team. Midway through the half, though, energy shifted fast as Trilogy went on a 15-0 run kicked off by McCants’ 3 point shot (and 9 total points during the run). With Trilogy leading 49-37, McCants deflected and stole a Ghost Ballers’ pass. He quickly dished the ball off to James White who was wide open in the corner behind the 3 point line. In dramatic fashion, White launched the shot as thousands inside KeyArena watched the ball drop in, sealing the 50-37 victory, keeping Trilogy’s perfect season alive, and clinching a trip to Vegas for the first ever BIG3 Championship game.

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Immediately after winning their games, 3 Headed Monsters and Trilogy were treated to a glimpse of the 2017 BIG3 Championship trophy, which was unveiled in Seattle for the first time.  The 24 karat gold trophy was crafted by S. R. BLACKINTON, makers of the Kentucky Derby trophy for over 40 consecutive years, and will be awarded to the first-ever BIG3 champions after the deciding game this Saturday in Las Vegas.

Yesterday’s BIG3 Week 9 playoff games in Seattle will air on Fox Sports 1 Monday Night Basketball tonight (Monday, August 21) at 5PM PST / 8PM EST.

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Next week, BIG3 moves to Las Vegas, NV for the Championship Finals at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, August 26. The top two teams, Trilogy and 3 Headed Monsters will battle it out for the championship title with the 3rd ranked Power and 4th ranked Ghost Ballers competing for consolation ranking. The BIG3 Championship Finals will air live on FOX at 1:30PM PST / 4:30PM EST ahead of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor which takes place later that evening - making Las Vegas the center of the sports and entertainment world as it hosts both highly anticipated events on the same day.
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