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Killer 3's vs. Triplets Set for 2019 BIG3 Basketball League Championship

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - AUGUST 25: Joe Johnson #1 of the Triplets dribbles past Rashard Lewis #9 of the 3 Headed Monsters  during the BIG3 Playoffs at Smoothie King Center on August 25, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/BIG3 via Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The 2019 BIG3 championship is set.

There will be a new champion for the fourth straight season in the three-on-three league after defending champion Power was taken down by the Killer 3's. The Stephen Jackson-led squad will take on the Triplets, who used another stellar performance from Joe Johnson to get past the 3 Headed Monsters.

Here is a look at how things shook out Saturday from New Orleans.

        

Killer 3's 50, Power 42

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Killer 3's knock off the defending champs! 🐝🐝🐝#BIG3Playoffs https://t.co/7hUH5l1zM6

Both among the original BIG3 teams, the stories could not have been more different for the Killer 3's and Power. Whereas Power were the defending champions and making their third straight playoff appearance, the Killer 3's languished outside the playoff picture the first two seasons.

The Killer 3's showed how quickly things could change Sunday.

Stephen Jackson and Donte Greene each had 13 points and C.J. Watson added 12, leading the Killer 3's to a 50-42 win to eliminate Power.

The defending champs have been riddled with injuries throughout the 2019 season, playing without Chris Andersen and Cuttino Mobley for almost the entire second half of the year. They entered limping to the playoffs, losing their final two regular-season games. 

The wear showed against a healthy Killer 3's squad. Corey Maggette, who had overtaken the top scoring role amid the injuries, was limited to just nine points and nine rebounds. Glen Davis scored a team-high 12 points but hauled in only two boards and was playing through a hip injury suffered last week. Jeremy Pargo was Power's second-leading scorer with 10 and was only in his second game with the squad.

The journey to the finals is a culmination of three years' worth of work for the Killer 3's, who finished last in the inaugural BIG3 season and fifth in the standings in 2018. It's been an effort spearheaded by Jackson, who went from having to do everything his first year with the team to finally having a well-rounded squad with chemistry.

Two years removed from being in the basement, they're one win away from the league's apex.

            

Triplets 50, 3 Headed Monsters 39

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In the NBA, Joe Johnson's teams tended to fall short during the playoffs. He would not allow that to be the case during his MVP BIG3 season.

ISO Joe scored 26 of the Triplets' 50 points, continuing his dominant season with a 50-39 victory over the 3 Headed Monsters. His final three points came on a pull-up three off the dribble to put the 3 Headed Monsters away for good. 

Al Jefferson added 10 points, but Triplets' victory once again came down to the league MVP. Johnson, who averaged 21.9 points per game during the regular season, also added five rebounds and three assists in a virtuoso offensive performance.

The 3 Headed Monsters were led by 14 points by Mario Chalmers and 12 from Reggie Evans. However, the Triplets did an excellent job of keeping Evans, the BIG3's leading rebounder, off the offensive glass to limit second-chance opportunities.

The Triplets and Killer 3's did not meet during the regular season. Johnson will most likely face off head-to-head against Jackson, a rangy wing who could give him some trouble off the dribble.

That said, Johnson has looked like a bona fide NBA rotation player all season long, so it's hard to think he'll stop with the BIG3 title on the line.