The NBA 2K Players Tournament resumes action on ESPN2 on Thursday night withe quarterfinals. We’ve got four matchups to get through with the end result being four NBA players left standing for the finale on Saturday. We had a pretty entertaining first round, packed with trash talking and insight into how NBA players are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and self-isolation. In this live blog, we’ll be tracking all the latest scores, highlights and jawing for Thursday night’s action. Here’s some useful TV info before the games get going:
NBA 2K Players Tournament Quarterfinals recap
Updated matchups for Semifinals
(5) Devin Booker vs. (8) Montrezl Harrell
(10) Deandre Ayton vs. (14) Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley holds off Andre Drummond — 76ers top Bucks 69-67
Final update — Beverley got amped down the stretch. All Drummond could do was fowl in the closing seconds. The 76ers came out of it with a 69-62 victory though, so Beverley is headed to the semifinals. He’s looking like one of the favorites to take home the grand prize.
Highlight — Patrick Beverley, ladies and gents.
10:52 — Philadelphia started to run away with the game in the fourth quarter, but Drummond remained persistent and knocked down some long range shots to stay competitive. Josh Richardson threw down a pair of emphatic slams in the final two minutes when Drummond went cold from deep. The 76ers lead 65-60.
Highlight — Drummond knocked down this ridiculous buzzer beater to end the third quarter.
10:40 — The game is close heading into the fourth quarter. Beverly was up with one second left in the third before Drummond sank a buzzer beater from deep to go up 46-45. This one could go down to the wire.
10:30 — Beverley came out blazing in the second half and claimed a 37-38 lead a couple minutes into the third quarter before a timeout. His trash talk is flowing effortlessly.
10:22 — Beverly was vocal about having figured out Drummond’s defense in the second quarter and got better results than he did in the first. He got more animated than any player we’ve seen this round. Philadelphia is down 36-30 at the break.
Highlight — Antetokounmpo got hot in the first quarter and couldn’t be stopped at the rim.
10:13 — Drummond got Giannis Antetokounmpo going toward the end of the quarter. He threw down a few slams and crashed the boards to help Milwaukee jump out to an 21-10 lead at to close out the first quarter.
10:09 — Beverley and Drummond traded baskets early. The score line read 8-8 heading into the first commercial break of the contest mid-way through the first quarter. Beverley is using the Philadelphia 76ers while Drummond has the Milwaukee Bucks.
Trae Young vs. Deandre Ayton
Final Update — Oh how the mighty have fallen! Young goes down to Ayton 73-66 as the Clippers knock off the Lakers. This was the closest of the quarterfinal matchups so far tonight, even though Derrick Jones Jr. made it a game at the end there.
9:55 p.m. — We’re at around 1:00 left in the fourth and Ayton leads by three points, 65-62. PG-13 breakaway dunk and that could be it for Young! Ayton hits two free throws and leads by 7 points with under 30 seconds remaining.
9:40 p.m. — Ayton misses a 3-pointer at the buzzer and Young goes into the fourth quarter with a 51-50 lead! We got our first game that could go down to the wire.
9:35 p.m. — Ayton hits a 3 with Kawhi Leonard and now he’s back up by 10 points.
9:31 p.m. — The third quarter is up and Ayton holds a 38-31 lead over Young. Trae has managed to get things close but Ayton always pulls back away. Let’s see if Trae can go on a run and turn this into a game. And just like that, Young is only down by five points.
9:20 p.m. — HUGE FINISH BY LEBRON FOR YOUNG. Trae is only down by six points and has a chance to make it a one possession game.
9:17 p.m. — We’re into the second quarter and Ayton continues to lead over Trae. Young is keeping it pretty close though at 26-19, so he just needs to get going from outside.
Highlight — Ayton is out here draining 3s on Young.
9:09 p.m. — Trae put on a show in the first round but Ayton is up early with the Clippers, leading by 11 points. Ayton has been hot from outside.
9:03 p.m. — Young vs. Ayton is about to get underway. We’ve got the Battle of Los Angeles with Deandre Ayton using the Clippers and Young using the Lake Show.
Montrezl Harrell tops Derrick Jones Jr. — Trail Blazers over Mavericks 71-66
8:58 — Jones got to within four points with 26 second left on the clock, but Harrell knocked down a pair of free throws to go back up 69-63 with 19 second left. Jones proceeded to knock down a three-pointer with Tim Hardaway Jr. to cut Harrell’s lead to three. However, he was forced to foul, and the bonus allowed Harrell to secure a 71-66 victory.
8:53 — Harrell is bringing his starters back in on a timeout. He leads 63-54 and wants to pile it on late to come out with the win.
8:52 — Jones took a second straight strategic timeout to get Doncic’s energy up as much as possible.
8:48 — Jones felt the game slipping away when we went down 61-49 in the final frame with less than three minutes to go. It looks like he’s ready to bring in Doncic off the bench earlier than expected.
8:45 — Harrell took a timeout while up 57-47 to get his starters some rest ahead of the home stretch.
8:39 — Jones started off the third quarter with a Luka Doncic slam and proceeded to score a second consecutive bucket with the star. Harrell responded with a Damian Lillard poster just a few minutes later though and stayed out front for the remainder of the quarter. Things are getting out of hand for Jones, as Harrell leads 53-42 heading into the fourth quarter.
8:26 — Jones kept things close in the second quarter and picked up his defense, but Harrell was able to extend his lead. The Trail Blazers lead 34-28 at the break, and Harrell has made it a point to use Carmelo Anthony’s tough shot making ability to his advantage.
8:15 p.m. — Jones sank a buzzer beater to close out the first quarter, but Harrell holds a 20-16 lead heading into the second frame.
8:12 p.m. — Jones and Harrell got off to a strong start scoring the basketball in the first quarter. But Harrell pulled ahead to give his Portland Trail Blazers to a 16-10 lead over Jones’ Dallas Mavericks.
Devin Booker defeats Rui Hachimura — DAL over LAC 71-55
Final — Booker runs away in the second half with an easy win in the second round to advance. Hachimura fought admirably but wasn’t enough for Booker, who was dominant in the first round also. Booker’s adjustments clearly paid off and he got Doncic going in the third quarter. We’ve got Airplane Mode vs. Harrell coming up next!
7:54 p.m. — Booker has built the lead out to 20 points and is dominating with Doncic, making crisp passes for easy buckets. It looks like the All-Star is sending the rookie, well, home? ... and advancing to the semifinals.
7:41 p.m. — DONCIC WITH THE HAMMER BEFORE THE BUZZER. Booker has taken a commanding 50-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter. It was the Doncic quarter in the third for Booker. Hachimura needed to make a run at the end there, but let Booker extend the lead. Can Hachimura get back into it and make it a game again?
7:39 p.m. — Luka took Booker’s advice and just hit back-to-back 3s to extend the lead to double digits. Frustration is setting in with Hachimura, who said he was going to quit after Booker hit the second three.
7:34 p.m. — The second half is underway and Booker needs Luka to be more aggressive. The Suns guard still leads by six points with Hachimura struggling. The commentators just praised a bucket being scored, so offense has been scarce.
7:24 p.m. — Booker went on a run and leads 32-28 at halftime over Hachimura. This has been a competitive one and you can tell that Booker wants this W.
7:20 p.m. — Booker just finished a slam with Willie Cauley-Stein and is within two points of Hachimura, who is up 26-24 mid-way through the second quarter. There was a bit of talk after the slam by Book.
7:18 p.m. — Hachimura just drilled back-to-back 3s with fellow competitor Montrezl Harrell, who is taking on Derrick Jones Jr. later on in the round.
7:13 p.m. — We’re done with the first quarter and Hachimura leads 17-15 over Booker. Rui had a nice block and bucket at the end of the frame but blew an easy layup before the buzzer. This one has been as advertised so far. Both players looked strong in the first round.
7:11 p.m. — We’ve got a timeout and Hachimura is leading Booker 13-10 with the Clippers vs. the Mavericks. Booker started off slow but hit a couple of 3’s to get back in it.
7:06 p.m. — The two just called timeouts to adjust their lineups a bit, so things are getting serious and its early in the first. Booker paused the game AGAIN to adjust an assignment down low it seems.
6:32 p.m. — We’re under a half hour away from the second round starting on ESPN2 with Booker vs. Hachimura. Let’s get to some picks for tonight’s action:
Ben Zweiman’s Picks
Booker over Hachimura
Harrell over Jones
Ayton over Young
Beverley over Drummond
Ameer Tyree’s Picks
Booker over Hachimura
Jones over Harrell
Young over Ayton
Beverley over Drummond
NBA 2K Players Tournament Quarterfinals TV schedule
(5) Devin Booker vs. (13) Rui Hachimura — 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2
(16) Derrick Jones Jr. vs. (8) Montrezl Harrell — 8 p.m. ET
(2) Trae Young vs. (10) Deandre Ayton — 9 p.m. ET
(6) Andre Drummond vs. (14) Patrick Beverley — 10 p.m. ET