No. 13 Hawks Talon fell to 6-9 on the season following an upset loss in their second to last series of the regular season. The previous league-worst Boston Celtics Crossover Gaming came back from a 0-1 deficit to take the series win in three.
Hawks Talon took game one 68-65 after trailing the entire first half. Heading into the third quarter, CLTX had taken a 10 point lead behind Sheriff “FT” Cruz’s 17 points.
Atlanta scored 31 points in the third quarter, giving Talon the lead. Doing what he does best, Michael “Bp” Diaz-Cruz scored 26 total points. He sank five 3-pointers and made 11 assists, leading Talon to a game one win over Boston.
Shooting guard Mykel “Kel” Wilson was close behind Diaz-Cruz, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and a .667 3-point percentage.
Game two was even tighter. CLTX took a late two-point lead to push the series to a game three. This time, it was center Levi “Lee” Lamb who led the team with 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Talon had a narrow lead heading into the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but CLTX didn’t waiver, outscoring Atlanta by five points in the final six minutes.
Lamb’s 83% shooting from the field alongside Diaz-Cruz’s 14 points wasn’t enough, as CLTX’s Cruz and Terry “NO xAUTOGRAPHSx” Jackson combined for 51 of their team’s 63 points to take the game two 63-61.
Following the close game two loss, Talon looked deflated heading into game three. Outscored by 14 in the first half, Atlanta’s point guard saw little help from the rest of the team.
Despite Diaz-Cruz’s 35 points, including eight three-pointers on 13 attempts, it was CLTX’s Cruz who stole the show. Scoring 50 points, he led CLTX to a 77-67 game-three win.
Talon had to win this series and their last regular season series next week to avoid the Aug. 13-15 THE TICKET tournament, which features a 14-team battle for the final spot in the the 10-team playoffs. Friday’s matchup against Miami’s Heat Check Gaming is largely ceremonial as Atlanta will need next week’s tournament to have a shot at the league title.