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Durant upset, Young dominates in NBA 2K Players Tournament

MANILA, Philippines – Top-seeded Kevin Durant got the boot early in the inaugural NBA 2K Players Tournament as he suffered a first-round exit to Derrick Jones Jr (No. 16) on Friday, April 3, in the US (Saturday, April 4, Philippine time).

Using the Los Angeles Clippers, Durant fizzled out in the second half as he was dealt a 62-78 loss by Jones and the Milwaukee Bucks, who held the best NBA record before the league was shut down due to coronavirus. 

Jones utilized Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is tied with LeBron James and James Harden for the highest NBA 2K20 rating of 97, as the "Greek Freak" delivered 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists. 

@TheRea1DJones takes Game 1 of the #NBA2KTourney over @KDTrey5 for the opening @NBA2K Players Tournament upset! pic.twitter.com/Pohrsy08Ta — NBA (@NBA) April 4, 2020

Khris Middleton also came in handy for Jones, knocking down 6 of his 7 three-point attempts for a team-high 22 points. 

Durant trailed by a single possession early in the second half but saw his deficit swell to 15 going into the final quarter, with Jones using Antetokounmpo to attract the defense before kicking out to open shooters. 

Meanwhile, Trae Young (2) issued a 42-point beating against Harrison Barnes (15) as the Bucks crushed Eastern Conference rival Toronto Raptors, 101-59. 

A 10-0 run was everything Young needed to cruise to the romp, which saw Barnes get buried by 30 points early in the final quarter. 

The Bucks went 3-of-3 on opening day of the tournament as Patrick Beverly (14) had the last laugh against Hassan Whiteside (3) and the Los Angeles in a battle between two of the NBA's most prolific trash talkers. 

Whiteside kept jumping on pump fakes, paving way for Beverly to sink easy buckets en route to the 84-54 drubbing. 

The self-assured player that he is, Beverly had an apt response to Whiteside when he said, "Giannis is a cheat code, I ain't going to lie." 

"It ain't Giannis that is playing. I'm controlling him. I'm just a cheat code. You can call me a cheat code. I'll take that," Beverly said. 

. @youngwhiteside :"Giannis is a cheat code" @patbev21 :"It ain't Giannis playin, I'm controlling him. So I'm just a cheat code" pic.twitter.com/De394EsiZJ — NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) April 4, 2020

Also advancing to the second round is DeAndre Ayton (10), whose Houston Rockets steamrolled past Zach Lavine (7) and the Miami Heat, 57-41. 

The tournament seeding was determined by the players' NBA 2K20 ratings, with the first and second rounds having a single elimination format.

A $100,000 cash prize for a chosen charity awaits the winner. 

NBA 2K action resumes on Monday, April 6 (Philippine time) with the other 4 first-round matchups. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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