Another exciting BIG3 season has come to a close, and once again there's a new champion. Led by league MVP Joe Johnson, Triplets took down Killer 3s, 50-39, in the championship game on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Johnson finished the game with 28 points, including the championship-winning 3-pointer. Johnson drained the shot right in front of LeBron James, who was watching courtside. This was the first season in BIG3 for the expansion Triplets, who were the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs after finishing with a league-best 7-1 record in the regular season.
The day started with the third-place game between 3 Headed Monsters and the defending champions, Power. There would be no place on the metaphorical podium for Power this season, however, as they fell behind early and were never able to recover. This is the second straight season that 3 Headed Monsters finished in third place.
Triplets 50, Killer 3s 39
3 Headed Monsters 50, Power 42
Triplets complete dominant season
Four new teams entered BIG3 this summer as expansion franchises: Aliens, Bivouac, Enemies and Triplets. Only one made the playoffs, and now they're the champions. Triplets lost just one game all season long, finishing the regular season 7-1 with a plus-68 point differential -- more than double the second-best team. Joe Johnson, who set the new scoring record, was named MVP, while Lisa Leslie was named Coach of the Year. In the playoffs, they proved once again that no one could challenge them, winning both of their games by double-digits.
Johnson makes his NBA case
Joe Johnson was dominant in his debut BIG3 season, running away with MVP honors after setting a new single-season scoring record and helping Triplets finish with the best record in the league. His strong play caught the attention of not only fans, but NBA GMs, as he with multiple teams, including the 76ers, Bucks and Clippers. On Sunday, Johnson showed exactly why NBA teams have come calling. He poured in a game-high 28 points -- over half of his team's total -- and drained the title-winning 3-pointer.
3 Headed Monsters take third again
For the second straight season, 3 Headed Monsters are the third-place finishers. They jumped out to a 25-18 lead at the half, and appeared to be running away with things, building a double-digit lead early in the second. Power mounted a comeback toward the end of the game, and were able to cut the deficit to just four points, but it was too little, too late. 3 Headed Monsters used a balance attack in victory, with Rashard Lewis, Larry Sanders and Rodney Carney all scoring 11 points, while Mario Chalmers added 10 and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf chipped in seven.