LAS VEGAS – Aug. 26, 2017 — After an inaugural BIG3 season that featured fierce competition, thrilling action and fantastic finishes, Trilogy emerged as the class of the league by completing an undefeated season to win the historic first BIG3 Championship. In a back-and-forth, closely-contested matchup featuring the league’s two top teams, Trilogy overcame a first-half deficit to defeat 3 Headed Monsters 51-46. BIG3 star and league No. 1 overall draft pick Rashad McCants earned the first ever BIG3 Championship MVP with a game-high 22 points, including the final five points to clinch the title.
For most of the first half, it appeared as if the electric crowd of 8,249 at MGM Grand Garden Arena and the millions more watching live on FOX would see Trilogy lose for the first time all season. Coached by NBA legend Rick Mahorn and led by captain Kenyon Martin and co-captain Al Harrington, Trilogy stormed back from an 11-point deficit in the first half and then held on against the 3 Headed Monsters to raise the BIG3 Championship Trophy Presented by Alex and Ani.
The stars came out to MGM Grand Garden Arena to bear witness to basketball history. Hip hop star Cardi B performed her hit single ‘Bodak Yellow’ and was joined on court by the renowned dance crew Jabbawockeez. The star-studded crowd included 50 Cent, James Harden, Cedric the Entertainer, Evander Holyfield, Terrell Owens, Jeff Gordon, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Swizz Beatz, Dana White, Fabolous, Tyga, Jeezy, Flavor Flav, Tyronn Lue, and Jason Terry.
The 3 Headed Monsters led by as many as 11 in the first half thanks to the shooting of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. Held to just two points in the Week 2 game against Trilogy, Abdul-Rauf had eight points by halftime. McCants led the Trilogy comeback with 10 of his 12 first-half points after the 3 Headed Monsters built its lead. A Harrington dunk gave Trilogy its first lead of the game as they hit halftime, 25-24.
Trilogy’s James White opened the second half scoring with a 3-pointer and later hit another to give the team a 33-28 lead. Abdul-Rauf then fired back with a pair of 3-pointers to put the 3-Headed Monsters ahead, 34-33.
Although Trilogy struggled from the foul line in the first half, they turned their shooting around when it counted. Made free throws from White and McCants gave Trilogy a 37-34 lead. Following an Abdul-Rauf layup, McCants hit a three to push the lead to 40-36. Jumpers from Dion Glover and White gave Trilogy its largest lead of the day at 44-38 before regular season BIG3 MVP Rashard Lewis took charge. After a quiet first half, Lewis scored six of the next eight points to tie the game at 46.
McCants tried a 3-pointer but was fouled by Abdul-Rauf. The resulting 3-point free throw gave Trilogy a 49-46 lead. Keeping possession after the foul, McCants then took the jumper that gave Trilogy a win and the first-ever BIG3 title.
In the first game of the day, a battle for third place, Ricky Davis scored 22 points as the Ghost Ballers defeated Power, 52-39. With the win, Ghost Ballers finish the season at 5-5. Power faltered down the stretch with five consecutive losses to close the season at 4-6.
With the victory, Trilogy will remain intact for the 2018 BIG3 season, while 3 Headed Monsters will send one player back into the BIG3 Draft Player Pool. The BIG3 and Fox Sports recently announced a renewed broadcast deal for the second season, which will tip off in Summer 2018.
Below are recaps of the day’s games, as well as links to video highlights and final stats.
BIG3 Third Place Game
Ghost Ballers (52; 5-5) vs. Power (39; 4-6)
Ricky Davis led the Ghost Ballers to a third place finish with a game-high 22 points, including a game-clinching 3-pointer. Behind Davis, the Ghost Ballers built a five-point halftime lead and held on to defeat Power. With the win, the Ghost Ballers avenged their Week 4 loss to Power, who raced out to an early first half lead behind the sharp shooting of DeShawn Stevenson and Jerome Williams. Despite the early deficit, the Ghost Ballers trio of Davis, Ghost Ballers captain Mike Bibby and Ivan Johnson proved too much. Bibby, who led the BIG3 this season in assists, continued his mastery of dishing to teammates, with a game-high six assists. After he fed Johnson for a jumper that made it 49-39, Bibby pulled down a defensive rebound and found Davis, who hit the game-winning 3-pointer.
Johnson and Bibby both finished with 13 points for the Ghost Ballers. Williams and Stevenson — who hit four 3-pointers — combined for 36 of Power’s 39 points. As he did in the first game against the Ghost Ballers, Williams had another double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds).
BIG3 Championship Game Presented by Alex and Ani
Trilogy (51; 10-0) vs. 3 Headed Monsters (46; 7-3)
Trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, Trilogy fought back to defeat the 3 Headed Monsters and earn the title of Inaugural BIG3 Champions. After breezing through the regular season with an 8-0 mark and few close calls, Trilogy faced a big deficit for second straight week after trailing at halftime in Week 9 against the Ghost Ballers. BIG3 Championship MVP Rashad McCants put Trilogy on his back to close the gap and lead the comeback. He had 10 of his 12 first-half points after the 3 Headed Monsters built its 11-point lead. A dunk by captain Al Harrington gave Trilogy its first lead of the game going into halftime, 25-24.
After a back-and-forth second half, the 3 Headed Monsters tied the game at 46 to put each team at game point. With 3 Headed Monster Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf closely guarding him behind the three-point line, McCants attempted a shot and drew the foul. He drained the three-point free throw and then clinched Championship with a jumper from the right elbow, setting of the celebration of the season.
McCants finished with a team-best 22 points while BIG3 Defensive Player of the Year James White had 16. Harrington chipped in six points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf led the 3 Headed Monsters with 22, while team captain and league MVP Rashard Lewis had a double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds).