Quarterfinals set as NBA 2K Players Tournament heats up

The quarterfinals for the NBA 2K Players Tournament – a partnership between the league and NBA 2K being held since the actual season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic – is now set after four more contests were staged Sunday.  

Moving on: Montrezl Harrell, who beat Domantas Sabonis; Rui Hachimura, who beat Donovan Mitchell; Devin Booker, who beat Michael Porter Jr.; and Andre Drummond, who beat DeMarcus Cousins. The four players join the four others who moved on in competition Friday night. 

Harrell (Los Angeles Clippers) and Sabonis (Indiana Pacers) became the first players in the tournament to use their actual teams. But Harrell proved to be a better player than Sabonis, who nonetheless was self-deprecating and a good sport throughout his 73-51 loss. 

Sabonis joked that "they got to skip through our game" when the first quarter ended with Harrell up just 14-8. He also quipped that the game was rigged when virtual teammate Myles Turner was slow running back in transition. He eventually proposed late in the game that "if I get (the deficit) down to 10, I win." 

“He sucks! He really sucks!” – Domantas Sabonis after he shoots with HIMSELF as he faces off against Montrezl Harrell on 2K ?? pic.twitter.com/ntzX7PXRaB

The matchup with Hachimura, a rookie for the Washington Wizards, and Mitchell, the Jazz star who was among the NBA players publicly diagnosed with COVID-19 – from which he's since recovered – was the closest of the tournament to date. Hachimura, using the Lakers, edged Mitchell, using the Nets, 74-71. Mitchell had a chance to tie at the buzzer, but it wouldn't go.  

A thrilling finish to Donovan Mitchell’s @spidadmitchell NBA 2K game against the Rui Hachimura, but Donovan’s Brooklyn Nets team loses by 3 to Hachimura’s Lakers and he is out of the tournament. pic.twitter.com/UlUgT8F3MY

Rui Hachimura got his own waterboy for the #NBA2KTourney ? pic.twitter.com/PLpswVSFDr

In a competitive contest, Booker outlasted Porter Jr. 85-75. Porter had selected the Lakers, which made Booker – a noted fan of video games, particularly first-person shooters – pick the Bucks.   

The final contest was a rout, as Drummond (using the Lakers) crushed Cousins (using the Nets), 101-49.

There was a moment of levity, though, when Alex Caruso came up. The Lakers guard, who was a teammate of Cousins' this year prior to the big man's release – Cousins was injured and did not play for L.A. – has become a cult hero of sorts in Los Angeles, and Drummond asked about him.

"A.C. the GOAT," Cousins replied.  

Boogie said Caruso’s the ? @ACFresh21#NBA2KTourneypic.twitter.com/cCSjN4E4ci

The quarterfinal matchups, with each player's seeding (which was determined by their NBA 2K rating; if ratings were the same, tenure in league was used): 

Derrick Jones Jr. (16) vs. Montrezl Harrell (8)

Devin Booker (5) vs. Rui Hachimura (13) 

Trae Young (2) vs. Deandre Ayton (10)

Andre Drummond (6) vs. Patrick Beverley (14)  

The winner of the tournament will receive $100,000 to donate to a charity connected to coronavirus relief efforts. The quarterfinals, which remain single elimination, kick off Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.  

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