2019 Big3 Semifinals – Sunday, August 25th, 2:00 PM ET on CBS from New Orleans, LA
(1) Triplets (7-1) vs (4) 3 Headed Monsters (4-4)
(2) Killer 3’s (5-3) vs (3) Power (5-3)
- Teams did not meet during regular season, last met in Week 6 of 2018 season, a 50-28 Power win in Toronto
Big3 Ballout – Saturday, August 17th, Dallas, TX
Ball Hogs 50, Bivouac 48
The Ball Hogs (1-7) got the Big3 Ballout off to a wild start with their first win of the season and first regular season win in over 400 days thanks to a furious comeback against Bivouac (4-4). DeShawn Stevenson drained a game-winning 3 off an offensive rebounds moments after Xavier Silas made back-to-back 4-pointers (the 2nd of them a free throw) to erase a 46-39 hole and Bivouac was eliminated from playoff contention after being on the verge of a win which would have gotten them in to the postseason.
All 50 Ball Hogs points came from the trio of Silas (22), Will McDonald (17) and Stevenson (11), with Silas in particular standing out in his second game with the team. Rick Barry’s team has finished all 3 seasons with at least a share of the Big3’s worst record, but avoided becoming the first team to finish a Big3 season winless. Brian Scalabrine had the team’s lone bench contribution with an assist, and was a star off the court as always, sparring with Michael Rapaport for the last time this season and doing a guest commentary spot during the day’s final game alongside CBS Sports Network’s Ed Cohen.
Bivouac’s enigmatic inaugural season ended with a fittingly disappointing loss. Will Bynum led the way with 18, but never got cooking the way he did two weeks ago when he scored a Big3 record 33 points. Just when it seemed a double-digit win and a potential playoff berth were within reach, the offense went silent and allowed the Ball Hogs to finish on an 11-2 run. Reggie Theus’ team had won 3 of 4 to give itself a chance of a winning season and a playoff berth, but has to settle for a .500 mark in its first campaign. They will, however, get one more chance to entertain Big3 fans as they’ll face 3’s Company in the opener of next week’s triple-header.
Triplets 51, Ghost Ballers 38
The Ghost Ballers (4-4) knew that a subpar point differential would likely leave them on the outside looking in if they finished at .500, so they came in with a clear mission to knock off the league-leading Triplets (7-1). But Iso Joe and co. were just too much, and finished the game on a 22-12 run after the Ballers got within 3 early in the 2nd Half. Joe got his 4th assist when he fed a wide-open Sergerio Gipson for 3 to finish it and the Triplets locked up the league’s best record outright.
Joe Johnson put the finishing touches on his MVP season with 19 points, setting a new Big3 scoring record with 175 on the season (an average of 21.9 ppg) and exploiting double-teams for 4 assists, his 5th time this season dishing out at least 4 helpers. Gipson had 12 points after entering with just 7 on the season, while both Alan Anderson and Jamario Moon added 8 – Moon against the team which traded him just 3 weeks ago.
The Ghost Ballers got 36 points from the duo of Ricky Davis (20) and Chris Johnson (16), both of whom either matched or set their season-highs. But they got just 2 points from the rest of the team, and fell to 1-4 on the season when they had fewer than 3 players finish in double-figures (as opposed to 3-0 when having 3 double-digit scorers). Their playoff hopes were ultimately done in by the magnitude of their losses – all 4 came by 13+ points, tanking their overall point differential.
3 Headed Monsters 52, Power 46
The 3 Headed Monsters (4-4) knew they’d need a win over the defending champs to have any hope of making the playoffs, but also knew that if they got that win they’d have a good chance of getting in at 4-4 thanks to a strong point differential for the season. The teams went back and forth for the entire game, but the Monsters used a late 14-5 run to open up a 47-39 cushion. Power (5-3) didn’t go away easily, getting within 3 before Mario Chalmers drained a game-winning 3-pointer that eventually sent his team to the playoffs.
Gary Payton’s Monsters won their second straight since a 4-game skid, and exorcised at least some of the demons of the 3 losses they took in that stretch by 4 points or fewer. Chalmers led the way with a season-high 19 points, and has been the team’s leading scorer over the last 5 games averaging 12.6 ppg in that span. Every Monsters player who stepped on the floor made a meaningful contribution – Reggie Evans had 12 points and 8 boards, Rashard Lewis and Al Thornton each scored 7, Larry Sanders had 4 points and a couple thunderous blocks, and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had a clutch late 3 and a pair of helpers.
The injury bug continues to ravage Nancy Liberman’s defending champions, with Glen “Big Baby” Davis the latest to get bit after going down in immense pain following a clutch late bucket. Reigning MVP Corey Maggette had a game-high 20 points despite spending every break with an ice pack on his shoulder and new addition Jeremy Pargo had 16 points just days after signing with the team to replace the fallen Cuttino Mobley. Their playoff berth was already locked up coming into the week, but the loss eventually knocked them to the 3-seed and Big Baby’s injury was a gut-punch to a team which has already lost Chris Andersen and Mobley for the season and has Maggette and Quentin Richardson playing through pain.
Killer 3’s 50, Enemies 36
The Killer 3’s (5-3) avoided a 4th loss in their last 5 games and clinched a playoff berth with a dominant win over the Enemies (3-5), who were eliminated from playoff contention and finished their inaugural season on a 4-game skid. Donte Greene ended it with a layup that capped a 15-6 game-ending run for the Killer 3’s, who claimed the 2nd seed in the playoffs thanks to a better overall point differential than Power.
Charles Oakley’s team knew it needed to tighten up its play overall after giving up big individual outings in each of the last 4 games, during which time they’d gone 1-3 with the win coming over the Ball Hogs. Mission accomplished as the Killer 3’s raced out to a 7-0 lead and never trailed, keeping the Enemies at arm’s length throughout the game before pulling away down the stretch. C.J. Watson led the way with 13 points, 1 shy of his season-high, but this win was all about a strong team effort at both ends, particularly on defense. They’ll set their sights on their first meeting with Power since being blown out 50-28 in Week 6 of the 2018 season.
Rick Mahorn’s Enemies never found a formula for wins which didn’t revolve around Craig Smith going off, and it was their undoing down the stretch of their first campaign. Opposing defenses made a point of keeping Smith in check over the last 4 weeks, and he never scored as many as 19 points again after having at least that many in the first 4 games. The Enemies finished the season 3-1 when he had at least 19, but 0-4 when he had 18 or fewer.
3’s Company 50, Trilogy 28
Trilogy (4-4) had a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win, but knew that its point differential likely wouldn’t be good enough to get into the playoffs with a loss. Kenyon Martin’s team opened up an early lead and looked like a team which was up to the task at hand, but 3’s Company (4-4) dominated to the tune of a 45-18 margin after trailing 10-5 and coasted to a stunning rout which knocked the 2017 champs out of playoff contention.
Andre Emmett ended it with a 3-point play which started with a nifty spin move for a layup. He led the way with 16 points in the win, his 6th straight game with at lest 15 to close out the season (3’s Company went 4-2 in those 6 after an 0-2 start). While it wasn’t quite enough to get the team into the playoffs, 3’s Company’s final half was perhaps the most impressive at the defensive end across the entire Big3 season – Michael Cooper’s squad allowed just 8 Trilogy points after the break, the first time any Big3 team was held to single-digits in a half all season. They’ll get the chance to try and lock down Will Bynum when they take on Bivouac in the opening game of next week’s triple-header.
Trilogy bookended its season with consecutive losses, both starting and finishing 0-2 with a 4-game win streak in between. The 2017 champions couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end even as they took a lead as large as 9 in the 1st Half, and were the first Big3 team all season held to fewer than 30 points in a game. The collapse, particularly the clunker of a 2nd Half, was particularly stunning for a team which entered the game averaging 27.4 2nd Half ppg, 2nd-best in the league behind only the top-seeded Triplets.
Tri-State 51, Aliens 44
7 was set to be the magic margin in this game, but it was the Aliens (3-5) who needed a win by at least that many to make the playoffs. They had themselves in position to get the big win they needed in the early going, leading by 7 points as late as 19-12. But Tri-State (4-4) finished the 1st Half on a 13-4 run to lead by 2 at the break, and the Aliens never created any sort of cushion again. The frustration boiled over at the last break as Aliens head coach Tiny Archibald was hit with a pair of technicals and ejected, with his team losing a slim 1-point lead on the ensuing free throw. They closed it out on an 18-10 run starting with that free throw and won for the 3rd time in their last 4 games after a 1-3 start.
Amar’e Stoudemire was quiet for most of the 1st Half, but finished strong to lead the team with 17 points, the last two of which came on a game-winning tip-in that was eventually ruled not to be a goaltend on review. It was his 7th time in double-figures and 5th game scoring at least 15 this season. Jason Richardson wrapped up his strong season with 15 points, his 4th game with at least 14 this season (entered with 13 in his previous 2 games combined). Nate Robinson had 10 in the encore to his game-winning 3-pointer last week, and also spent the first game of the afternoon as a guest analyst alongside CBS Sports Network’s Ed Cohen.
The Aliens were perhaps the Big3’s most cohesive team throughout the season, playing the same 6 players every week in their first campaign. But none of those 6 ever established himself as the go-to scorer and it bit them once again with a playoff spot on the line. Andre Owens and Brandon Rush each scored 11 to lead the team and Greg Oden had 8 points and 11 boards, but when they badly needed buckets to keep their playoff hopes alive, there were no obvious answers and no easy buckets to be found. They suffered their first loss in an odd-numbered week since opening the season with a loss to the Triplets and finished tied for 10th place at 3-5.