Nate Robinson Leads Tri-State over Defending Champ Trilogy in BIG3 2018 Action

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 23, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 22: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf #7 of 3 Headed Monsters attends a press conference during week one of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Toyota Center on June 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/BIG3/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

BIG3 Basketball returned for its second season Friday night with a quadruple-header featuring all eight teams from the Toyota Center in Houston. 

Trilogy is the defending champion after defeating the 3 Headed Monsters in the title game last year. There has been plenty of player turnover between seasons, with 21 new stars joining the league for the first time. Former NBA All-Stars Amar'e Stoudemire, Metta World Peace and Baron Davis are among the newbies. 

Here are the results from the opening day of the 2018 BIG3 Basketball League season. 

                                       

Tri-State 51, Trilogy 34

Nate Robinson's second-half outburst and Jermaine O'Neal's unstoppable presence in the post carried Tri-State to a 51-34 win over Trilogy to spoil the defending BIG3 champion's return to action.

Robinson finished with 10 points, and his skillful dribbling and fast-paced attacking of the basket helped Tri-State put the game away in the second half. He nailed the game-winning three-pointer that put Tri-State over the 50-point limit needed to secure the victory. 

While Robinson was showcasing his ball skills, O'Neal was content to stand in the paint and back down anyone on Trilogy who dared stand in his way. The six-time NBA All-Star also finished with 10 points on four field goals.

Rashad McCants, who was going toe-to-toe with Robinson throughout the game, did his best to keep Trilogy close with 12 points. He was the only player on the team to reach double-figures in scoring. 

Power 51, Ball Hogs 31

What started out as a tight matchup turned into a 51-31 blowout win for Power against Ball Hogs. 

Power went into halftime clinging to a 26-24 lead. It caught fire in the second half with a 25-7 run that sealed the win. 

One reason Power was able to shut down Ball Hogs in the second half is thanks to excellent defense from Chris Andersen:

With Andersen taking care of business on the defensive side, Power had a balanced scoring attack that included three players with at least 11 points.

Corey Maggette led the way with 17 points and nine rebounds. Glen Davis showed off some impressive moves at the basket to get two of his 11 points:

Even in defeat, DeShawn Stevenson had a strong shooting performance for the Ball Hogs. He nailed three four-point attempts as part of his 17-point showing. 

3's Company 51, Killer 3's 30

3's Company stormed out to a 19-point lead in the first half en route to an easy 51-30 win against Killer 3's. 

Davis took full advantage of the BIG3 four-point shot, sinking two attempts from the specially marked locations on the court. The two-time All-Star dropped 17 points with nine rebounds. 

Metta World Peace and Stephen Jackson accounted for virtually all of the Killer 3's offense. The former Indiana Pacers duo combined for 22 points and 13 rebounds. 

                                      

3 Headed Monsters 50, Ghost Ballers 48

The 3 Headed Monsters' quest to get back to the championship game got off to a good start with a 50-48 victory over Ghost Ballers in the first contest of the campaign. 

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who turned 49 in March, hit the game-winning basket. He received help from Reggie Evans, who put up a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Despite a strong offensive showing from Evans, the 13-year NBA veteran's poor free-throw shooting was one of the reasons the game was close in the end:

Carlos Boozer had a successful BIG3 debut with 15 points and seven rebounds, albeit in a losing effort.

Despite showing off an impressive new physique coming into the season, Mike Bibby went scoreless, though he did chip in with four rebounds and three assists for the Ghost Ballers.     

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