TORONTO, Canada—Regular Season? Tournaments? It doesn’t seem to matter. Raptors Uprising GC are on fire.
Toronto’s professional NBA 2K League team finished pool play at THE TIPOFF tournament a perfect 4-0, taking care of west-coast foes Blazer5 Gaming and Lakers Gaming—twice.
Raptors Uprising point guard Kenny Got Work was dominant for his side, averaging 39.5 points and 10.0 assists over four games after putting up just 11.3 per game at the tournament a year ago.
“Good job team. We came out, you know, the odds weren’t in our favour, but we took care of business like we thought we would,” said Kenny Got Work to his teammates after the game. “Never had one doubt—west coast, east coast, it doesn’t matter—we’re the only team that can stop ourselves.”
The unbeaten Raptors Uprising carried their momentum from the regular season into the first tournament of the year, jumping out to an early 31-21 lead in Game 1 against Blazer5 Gaming.
The two teams, who were playing each other for the second time in less than a week, would continue to go back and forth as Toronto—led by their veterans—would eventually take their first game of the night (73-58).
Kenny would finish the win with 35 points and eight assists, while centre Sick One put up a colourful 16 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks. Timelycook also chipped in with 13 points on six-of-eight shooting from the field.
Despite boasting the league’s only two MVP’s, Mama Im Dat Man and OneWildWalnut, Blazer5 Gaming (4-5) would prove to be little match for Raptors Uprising (9-0), falling behind again early in Game 2.
Without turning over the ball in the first half, Raptors Uprising would open up a 42-26 lead at halftime, setting the stage for another third-quarter onslaught. Toronto would go on to outscore Portland 28-15 in the frame en route to taking Game 2 (93-65).
Like he’s been all season, Sick One was a force all over the court for Raptors Uprising, putting up 16 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, while Timelycook added 20 points. Rookie small forward ReeceMode also chimed in with 15 on six-of-seven shooting, but once again, it was Kenny Got Work stealing the show for Toronto.
The frontrunner for MVP would finish Game 2 with 35 points and 18 assists, helping Raptors Uprising start the evening 2-0.
But like Raptors Uprising’s night, Kenny was just getting started.
Facing a struggling Lakers Gaming (1-8) side for the first time this season, the Raptors Uprising’s all-time leading scorer would take advantage, scoring a career-high 58 points, nearly outscoring L.A. on his own in Game 3 (105-59).
Brothers Legit 973 and Sick One—the first set of siblings to play for the same NBA 2K League team—would also combine to score 25 points, as Sick One finished one assist shy of yet another triple-double.
“I think it’s always been there; I’ve always been a really good passer,” said Sick One. “This year, we play at such a fast pace that we get more chances to use all our skills. The team and everybody trusts me to make plays, so they keep dropping it off to me or I’ll get the rebound just chuck it deep to Kenny and get a couple free ones.
“But I’m not playing for a triple-double, it just happens to come.”
Canadian SAV was the lone bright spot for Lakers Gaming, meanwhile, finishing with 19 points and 11 assists, but he also committed 13 of the team’s 19 turnovers.
His side’s misfortunes would carry over into their second meeting of the night, as Raptors Uprising would force 23 turnovers to take Game 4 (91-53). Kenny Got Work and Sick One would once again lead the charge, recording 61 points, 12 assists, and seven steals combined. The Raptors Uprising centre would also grab 17 rebounds for his fourth double-double in as many games.
With the win, Raptors Uprising advance to the quarterfinals as the top seed in Group 6 thanks to a +127 point differential after Gen. G Tigers also finished a perfect 4-0.
UP NEXT: Toronto will the winner of Group 5 Bucks Gaming (4-4) in a best-of-three series that tips off Thursday as the victor will advance to Friday’s semi final. With eight teams remaining in the tournament, THE TIPOFF resumes at 7 p.m. EST. As always, you can catch all the entirety of Raptors Uprising games in the command center on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch channel.