TORONTO, Canada—Raptors Uprising GC showed no signs of rust coming off a 15-day layoff, taking care of NetsGC (2-0 series) to improve to 7-0 in NBA 2K League action Friday night.
Toronto, who hadn’t played since May 21 vs. Hawks Talon GC, picked up right where the team left off prior to the break, knocking down their first 13 shots from the floor to begin Game 1.
Rookie small forward ReeceMode would get the ball rolling for his side, pouring in 14 of his team’s first 17 points to help establish an early 20-point first-quarter lead.
“My point guard (Kenny Got Work) is doing a great job of getting himself open which draws a lot of attention,” said ReeceMode. “I’m just trying to help to the best of my ability, whether it’s dexing on the wing to try and get open or cutting here and there.
“But shooting, it’s something I adjusted to in the offseason—playing off the ball.”
With Reece hitting his shots, the point guard-turned-small forward would actually be the one to catch the eye of the NetsGC defence early on, thus, creating some space on the court for his backcourt partner to thrive.
— x-Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) June 5, 2020
And as we’ve learned this season, if you give MVP-candidate Kenny Got Work the slightest bit of space, he’ll absolutely make you pay.
The two-time Season 3 Player of the Week would go on to score 21 points in the half, en route to finishing with 32 in the game to go along with seven assists, three steals, and, perhaps most impressive, 0 turnovers.
Centre Sick One, meanwhile, was sick in this one, recording his league-leading fourth triple-double of the year, adding 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists as Raptors Uprising would go on to cruise to an easy Game 1 (84-71) victory.
“I think I get some of the stats because we play so fast that I probably touch the ball a lot,” said Sick One. “Kenny trusts me, throwing me the ball in the full court, so it’s just thanks to the trust from my teammates.”
NetsGC (3-2), who entered the contest winners of three straight, would refuse to go down without a fight, however. Led by 2020 ninth-overall pick Choc at point guard, Brooklyn would actually carry a four-point lead into half in the second game of the evening.
But, as has been the storyline all season, that’s when Raptors Uprising would reel off a big third-quarter run on the back of who else but Kenny Got Work.
— Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) June 6, 2020
Thanks in part to strong team defence, Toronto would outscore Brooklyn 28-14 in the quarter as the Raptors Uprising all-time leading scorer would add to his tally, finishing Game 2 with 43 points and seven dimes.
Sick One, meanwhile, would come close to adding his second triple-double of the evening, finishing with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists as the team from the North completed their fifth series-sweep in seven tries, taking Game 2 (79-72).
“The league knows why we’re performing the way we’re performing,” said ReeceMode. “We put the time and the work in. When we first got here, it wasn’t always like this. We started from ground-up; we got it out the mud.”
With the win, Raptors Uprising extend their lead atop the NBA 2K League standings with only one other team—Warriors Gaming Squad—remaining undefeated in 2020.
Friday’s matchup was televised across the United States on ESPN2.
UP NEXT: Raptors Uprising are back in action on Thursday as many around the league have this one circled on their calendar: a date with Blazer5 Gaming. The team from Portland has set the tone in the NBA 2K League regular season over the first two years, finishing with a combined record of 26-4. After adding former Raptors Uprising utility player OOC Slim in the offseason, B5 picked up right where they left off, opening Season 3 at 4-0. They’ve since dropped a franchise-high three straight, so I’m sure they’ll be eager to try and get back into the win column when they take on the hottest team in the league. Tipoff for this marquee matchup is set for 9 pm EST on June 11.