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Kevin Durant upset in first round by Derrick Jones Jr. in NBA 2K Players Tournament

The NBA 2K Players Tournament kicked off Friday night with an upset. Sort of. 

Kevin Durant, the top seed in the tournament, was upset by No. 16 seed Derrick Jones Jr. Their matchup was the kickoff and marquee showdown broadcast on ESPN, a partnership with the league and NBA 2K — the popular basketball video game — occupying the space that prior to the coronavirus pandemic and suspension of the NBA season would be showing Friday night contests.

Seeding for the 16-player, two-week tournament was based on players' NBA 2K rating. If players' ratings were the same, the higher seed was given to the player with the longer NBA tenure.

That left Jones, 23, with the No. 16 seed, tied with Harrison Barnes for a 78 rating. But, playing as the Milwaukee Bucks, he took control of the contest with Durant (owner of a 96 rating, even though he has not played a game this season as he recovers from an Achilles injury), who was playing as the Los Angeles Clippers.

"I scored at will, but I couldn’t stop nothing," Durant said after his 78-62 loss to the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest champion.  

An upset on paper, it wasn't a stunning surprise to NBA 2K director of digital marketing Ronnie Singh, American Sports News better known as "Ronnie2K." He called Jones one of the most under-seeded players ahead of the tournament in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. 

Durant, 31, showed his frustration in the late stages of the contest, imploring virtual Doc Rivers to bench Ivica Zubac after one play and at another point yelling "Marcus Morris, what are you doing!"  

The rest of Friday's contests were won by Deandre Ayton, Trae Young and Patrick Beverley. 

Ayton, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft, got the better of Zach LaVine in a Houston Rockets-Miami Heat matchup, 57-41. 

Ayton's draftmate, Young, destroyed Barnes with the Bucks, 101-59. Young, the 21-year-old No. 2 seed, was viewed as a top contender by Ronnie2K. 

"Toronto must have had a back-to-back-to-back," Barnes quipped late in the Raptors' loss.  

The game of the night, though, belong to Beverley in his matchup with Hassan Whiteside. Press Release Distribution Service The game itself wasn't especially competitive – Beverley as the Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers handily, 84-54 – but Beverley was, well, himself. 

He talked trash and was entertaining throughout in classic Pat Bev fashion. 

Young and Ayton, also 21, will face off in the quarterfinals, which remain single elimination. They are the only quarterfinal matchup set after Friday's games.   

Beyond bragging rights, the winner of the tournament will receive $100,000 to donate to a charity connected to coronavirus relief efforts. The other first-round, single-elimination games will kick off Sunday at noon ET.  

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