Playoff Bound: Raptors Uprising clinch spot in 2020 postseason after win over Gen.G

TORONTO, Canada—For the first time since Season 1, Raptors Uprising GC are returning to the playoffs, defeating Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai (2-1 series) to secure their place in the 2020 NBA 2K League postseason.

In a highly anticipated rematch from THE TIPOFF Tournament semifinals last month, Raptors Uprising (12-0) and Gen.G (5-7) would battle it out for $2,500 in the NBA 2K League’s Game of the Week.

Game 1, however, wasn’t much of a battle as Toronto was dominant from the get-go. Before the first quarter was over, the first-place Raptors Uprising opened up a 16-point lead. A first-half double-double from centre Sick One would help turn that lead into 23 heading into break, as solid team defence and unselfish ball movement would result in several open looks for Raptors Uprising.

The team would continue to pour it on in the second half. The full-court press of point guard Kenny Got Work and shooting guard Timelycook would combine to force 14 steals as Raptors Uprising would go on to outscore Gen.G 50-34 in the final two quarters, eventually taking Game 1 (101-62).

Toronto set a new franchise record for assists (35) in the win, while all five Raptors Uprising starters finished in double-digit scoring. Kenny led the way with 29 points, 11 assists and six steals and Timely added 27 points and eight steals on 11-of-13 shooting from the field. Sick One, meanwhile, ended the game one rebound shy of his league-leading seventh triple-double, putting up an impressive 20 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists.

After being embarrassed in Game 1, Gen.G would show more fight in the second contest of the evening.

Their star point guard, 2020 fifth-overall pick ShiftyKaii, came out particularly strong after he was held to just 10 points in the first game of the series. In fact, ShiftyKaii would score more than double that in the first half alone, recording 24 points to put his team up by four (37-41) heading into halftime.

In a rare off-game for Toronto, Gen.G would be the team producing the third-quarter fireworks: the Tigers would outscore Raptors Uprising 23-13 in the frame to open up a 14-point lead heading into the fourth.

Despite some sloppy play and a season-high 24 turnovers, the team from the North would battle back to make it close. They even had some open looks in the fourth quarter to potentially draw the game back within reach, however, 44 points from ShiftyKaii would help Gen.G hold on down the stretch to narrowly take Game 2 (72-76).

Kenny led the way for Raptors Uprising in the loss with 23 points and 11 dimes of his own, while Sick One notched a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double.

With a chip on their shoulder, Raptors Uprising would clean things up in Game 3, as Kenny Got Work would come out of the gates flying.

The frontrunner for MVP this season connected on his first five shots from the field—including a perfect four-for-four from three—to give his side a 21-16 lead before a game reset.

And if Gen.G were hoping that the reset would shift momentum, they were sadly mistaken. Raptors Uprising were pushed to a third game for just the fourth time this series, and you can tell the team just wasn’t having it. Toronto would open up a 21-point lead at the adjusted halftime as Kenny continued to pour it on.

With the threat of ShiftyKaii mitigated and Kenny balling out, the team would go on to cruise to a (106-63) victory, picking up their 12th straight win and officially clinching a playoff spot with four weeks still remaining.

Kenny finished the game with a jaw-dropping 50 points, the third time this season that he has eclipsed the 50-point plateau. Sick One recorded his third double-double of the evening, finishing one assist shy of a triple-double, while the league-leader in steals Timelycook was perfect from the floor: 29 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the field, including seven-for-seven from downtown.

As part of the NBA 2K League’s new Cash Games, Raptors Uprising earned $2,500 for their win Thursday night after picking up $2,500 earlier in the week for their win over Heat Check Gaming. The team averaged 90.2 points per game over their two wins, setting up the possibility of collecting an additional $2,500, rewarded to the team who possesses the highest points-per-game over their two Cash Games.

With the win, Toronto is now just two victories shy of tying Blazer5 Gaming’s record of 14 consecutive regular-season wins.

UP NEXT: A well-deserved bye week is on the horizon for the first-place Raptors Uprising, who return to action July 16 against Pacers Gaming (7 p.m. EST). Currently 4-6 in the regular season, Indiana has struggled as of late. They’ll try to gain some momentum in matchups vs. NetsGC and Celtics Crossover Gaming before they take on the red-hot Raptors Uprising. The Week 10 matchup will be Toronto’s last tune-up game before THE TURN Tournament.