Day 1 of NBA 2K players-only tournament was all about upsets

Apr 5, 2020

And just like that, the first four matches of the NBA 2K Players Tournament are settled.

Day 1 of the charity games saw the Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (No. 1) versus Miami Heat's Derrick Jones, Jr. (16); Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine (7) versus Phoenix Suns' DeAndre Ayton (10); Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young (2) versus Sacramento Kings' Harrison Barnes (15); and Portand Trail Blazer' Hassan Whiteside (3) versus LA Clippers' Patrick Beverley (14) all in action — but in a basketball simulation video game.

Here's a recap of the tournament rules, as per AP: "Each NBA player will each select a pool of eight teams prior to the tournament and can only play with each club once throughout the tournament. Rounds one and two will be single elimination, and the semifinals and finals will be best-of-three."

Aside from the fact that three out of the eight players started off with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, the theme of the first half of Round 1 was the favorites suffering defeat at the hands of the underdogs:

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Jones, Jr. (Bucks) beats Durant (Clippers), 78-62

The reigning Slam Dunk champion came up with the biggest upset of the day, turning back the former MVP — whose in-game rating is 96 — as the lowest seed.

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Ayton (Rockets) beats LaVine (Heat), 57-41

The 2018 No. 1 draft pick, one of the league's most dominant big men, uncharacteristically went small-ball to overcome the two-time dunk champ.

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Beverley (Bucks) beats Whiteside (Lakers), 84-54

The All-Defensive team member backed up all his trash talk (even LeBron wasn't safe), to pull a David on the Goliath that is the former rebounding and blocks leader.

Young (Bucks) beats Barnes (Raptors), 101-59

The first-time All-Star was the only higher seed that won over a lower seed. Atlanta's Young used his Bucks to utterly destroy the ex-champion for the worst loss (by 42 points) of the day.

Games 4 to 8 of the first round — Donovan Mitchell vs. Rui Hachimura, Devin Booker vs. Michael Porter, Jr., Andre Drummond vs. DeMarcus Cousins, Montrezl Harrell vs. Domantas Sabonis — can be viewed through the NBA's official social media accounts on Monday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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