Raptors Uprising move into first place after win over Hawks Talon

TORONTO, Canada—Raptors Uprising GC could not have asked for a better start to their 2020 NBA 2K League season.

On Thursday, Toronto (6-0) downed a competitive Hawks Talon GC team (2-0 series) in impressive fashion to pick up their sixth-straight win and remain undefeated.

“Honestly, way to persevere through some adversity,” Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Esports Manager Shane Talbot told his team after the game. “It’s hilarious to call a 2-0 sweep some adversity, but honestly, the way that our season is going, that is a little bit adversity for us, and we maintained our composure.

“Great leadership, awesome corrections being made across the board throughout the series, we saw that translate into big quarters… I love it.”

Atlanta (3-2) were confident heading into Week 3 having won their last three outings. That translated into an early lead in Game 1 as Raptors Uprising found themselves down by as much as eight points in the first half.

Refusing to go away, an all-around team effort would eventually narrow the deficit to within one-possession, when sharpshooter ReeceMode—who entered Thursday’s matchup shooting 73.8 per cent (45 of 61) from beyond the arc—stepped up to hit a pair of clutch three’s and give Toronto a 42-40 lead.

Raptors Uprising would find life after that, going on to outscore Hawks Talon 48-37 in the second half, eventually taking Game 1 (76-68).

Point guard Kenny Got Work paced Raptors Uprising with 25 points and eight assists in the opener, while centre Sick One added another double-double, posting 12 points, 13 rebounds and six dimes. In fact, aside from rookie power forward Legit 973 who finished just shy with eight points, all Raptors Uprising players scored in double figures.

As expected, BP and Kel led the way for Atlanta, chipping in 25 points apiece in the losing effort. Rookie centre Lee, meanwhile, had a career game on the glass, grabbing 19 rebounds.

In Game 2, another back-and-forth affair was highlighted by the Kenny Got Work show.

A 13-point first-quarter performance for the Raptors Uprising star turned into a 30-point outing by the third, as Kenny found a variety of different ways to get his team on the board.

Toronto led Atlanta 54-49 entering the final frame, where they’d fend off one last push. BP, who finished Game 2 with 26 points for Hawks Talon, would actually help his team take a 59-56 lead with just a few minutes remaining, but that was too much time on the clock to give Raptors Uprising, who were fueled by a determined Kenny Got Work.

The franchise’s all-time leading scorer showed why he’s in the MVP conversation this season, adding 13 points in the final quarter to finish Game 2 with a series-high 43 on 17-of-23 shooting from the field.

Timelycook would go on to add his second 17-point performance of the evening, as Raptors Uprising closed out the series with a (79-71) victory.

With the win, Toronto moved into sole possession of first place in the NBA 2K League, becoming the first team to reach six wins. They’re now one of only three sides (of the 21 that have played a game) that remain undefeated.

Thursday marked the first-ever meeting between Raptors Uprising and Hawks Talon, as both Toronto and Atlanta will try and make good use out of a bye week in Week 4.

UP NEXT: Raptors Uprising will have to wait at least a week to try and build on their best-ever start to an NBA 2K League season, as they’ll return to action on Tuesday June 2 when they take on Nets GC in Brooklyn’s long-awaited season opener. The Season 2 expansion side is hoping to get their 2020 season started off on a strong note, but they’ll have to do it without guard Rando, who was suspended for the entire NBA 2K League year due to violation of the player code of conduct. To make things no easier, they’re opening their season against the hottest team in the NBA 2K League right now: Raptors Uprising GC. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. EST.