Hornets Venom GT, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets, tipped their season off in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, April 5. As part of THE TIPOFF tournament’s first day of action, Venom battled Knicks Gaming on the virtual hardwood.
In their first of five group matches, Venom got off to the slowest start imaginable. For the Knicks, OriginalMalik had his way in the first quarter. Connecting on four triples in the first frame alone, Malik finished with a game-high 31 points on the night. He and the Knicks offense could do no wrong in the first half of action and carried a 38-28 lead into the break.
Starting in the second half, Venom started to make their comeback. Outscoring the Knicks by two in the third period, Venom found themselves trailing by eight heading into the final six minutes.
In the final quarter, Venom came flying back and outscored the Knicks 26-13 in the final six minutes. For the second half, Venom dropped 41 points and secured their first victory of the season, 69-64.
While rigby remains out of the lineup temporarily, DJ more than made up for the team’s best player being inactive. In his NBA 2K League debut, DJ dropped a 20-point-23-rebound double-double at the center position. Chipping in four assists and three blocks for good measure, he also shot 10-13 from the field in the comeback win.
As for the rest of the crew, King Haad and Glennratty made their Venom debuts at point guard and shooting guard, respectively. In a combined effort, they dropped 40 points, 11 assists, and 10 triples.
Nick and Crown started at the three and the four and brought ample defense. While the prior trio had the bulk of the points, these two brought the heat defensively. Despite contributing a combined nine points, one rebound, and one assist offensively, Nick chipped in two steals, and Crown had a pair of steals to go along with his two blocks.
Overall, it was not a great start for Venom, but they pulled it out in the end. With rigby still sidelined for the foreseeable future, Venom are going to need a few more games like this if they want to compete for the $100,000 first-place prize in this tournament. Hopefully, they can build on this statement win and be ready to take on NetsGC on Thursday, April 7.