TORONTO, Canada—A quarter of the way through their third NBA 2K League season, Toronto’s Raptors Uprising GC remain undefeated after a (2-1 series) win over expansion side Hornets Venom GT.
Going head-to-head against one of the only other remaining unbeaten teams on Thursday night, the team from the North knew they had to come out strong in what would be a very competitive best-of-three series.
And they did just that, especially on the defensive end.
Raptors Uprising (4-0) would combine to force a season-high 15 turnovers in Game 1 out of Hornets Venom (2-1), as a solid team effort behind the ball would lead to several transition buckets on the other end.
Diving all over the court, the Raptors Uprising tempo was set by who else but Timelycook, as the lockdown shooting guard recorded 10 of his team’s 12 steals—the second most by an individual in NBA 2K League history (behind former Raptors Uprising player KingQuai614’s 11 on July 18, 2019 vs. Knicks Gaming).
Point guard Kenny Got Work would notch 32 points and eight assists on 13-of-16 shooting from the floor, while Sick One continued his dominant start to the season, putting up 24 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
— NBA2KLeague (@NBA2KLeague) May 14, 2020
Toronto, who jumped out to a seven-point lead at halftime, would seize complete control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring Charlotte 22-10 in the frame to eventually take the opener (83-65).
In Game 2, Hornets Venom would bounce back, showing why they’re considered to be one of the better teams heading into their first NBA 2K League season.
In addition to the consistent production they’d receive out of Week 1 Player of the Week nominee Type at centre, Charlotte would also get some support from the power forward spot, as rookie Zae would score a season-high 24 points, helping his side open up a surprising 19-point first-half lead over Toronto.
But just when you thought you could count Raptors Uprising out of it, the team would look to one another, dig deeper, and find an answer.
Once again that answer was Timelycook, who finished Game 2 with 18 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting from the floor, as Raptors Uprising would claw back to within seven points with under a minute to play.
Toronto would then get some big stops, eventually narrowing the gap to just two with less than 10 seconds to go. A relentless, full-court press ensued, and it would be Kenny Got Work who would come away with the steal and a clutch bucket to tie the game at 67 with just a few seconds left on the clock!
Unfortunately for Raptors Uprising, those few seconds would be all Hornets Venom would need to sneak away with Game 2 (67-70), as 2020 first-round pick Expose would connect on a long-range buzzer beater to force a Game 3.
However, with all of the momentum on his team’s side heading into the decisive tilt, Raptors Uprising star Kenny Got Work would take over.
The reigning Week 1 Player of the Week, who struggled to find the sweet spot on his release in Game 2, would only see “green” in Game 3, scoring a game-high 39 points while hitting nine three’s.
— Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) May 15, 2020
And when he wasn’t seeing green under his own avatar, he’d look to his fellow backcourt partner ReeceMode to do the honours. The sharpshooter, who has been absolutely dialed in from downtown in his first season, would go on to finish the evening a combined 10-of-12 from beyond the arch—including a clutch 5-of-6 from long range in Game 3.
The ever-consistent Sick One, meanwhile, would add his third double-double of the evening—his 8th in 10 games this season—scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, while also putting up seven dimes, two steals and four blocks.
Toronto would go on to win by 17 points, taking Game 3 (85-68).
With the win, Raptors Uprising improves to 4-0 and continues to build on its best-ever start to an NBA 2K League season.
UP NEXT: Raptors Uprising are back in action on Sportsnet ONE on Tuesday when they take on Season 1 NBA 2K League champions Knicks Gaming (1-1). The team from the North will be looking to improve to 5-0 for the first time in franchise history, but it likely won’t come easy against a revamped Knicks Gaming side. They’re led by 2020 second-overall pick Duck at point guard, but he’ll certainly his hands full with this surging team from Toronto. Be sure to tune in as tipoff is set for 7 pm EST.