TORONTO, Canada—Raptors Uprising GC, NBA 2K League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, put forth arguably their most complete performance of the season Friday night, as they split a pair of hard-fought games with Knicks Gaming to begin Week 6 NBA 2K League action.
Coming off a three-week break, Toronto would revert to a starting five that we haven’t seen in a few games, bringing 2020 NBA 2K League Defensive Player of the Year Timelycook back into the lineup, and the team would respond by going back-and-forth with the Season 1 NBA 2K League champions to begin Game 1.
After the opening quarter finished tied, Knicks Gaming would open a slim two-point lead heading into halftime, where they’d then come out for the third quarter and break the game wide open. New York’s 20-point frame would see them carry a 12-point lead into the fourth, but with the game looking out of reach, Raptors Uprising wouldn’t back down and would actually claw back to within two—and have a chance to tie the game.
Unfortunately for the team from the North, that’s as close as they would get, as Knicks Gaming (7-9) would get a few crucial stops and hold on for the opening game victory.
2020 second-overall selection Duck finished with a game-high 33 points for Knicks Gaming, while all five Raptors Uprising players finished in double-digit scoring in the loss.
“Duck played phenomenal,” said Kenny Got Work after the game. “He was going crazy, getting into the paint, picking his spots on the court. But I’ll take it though, because we had Malik in check. One of those guys are going to go off, and I’d rather it be Duck.”
While it would have been easy to lay down at that point, Raptors Uprising (3-13) were not going to give in. The team would quickly jump out to an 8-2 lead to begin Game 2 before Knicks Gaming battled back to carry a three-point lead into halftime.
The second half, however, belonged to Raptors Uprising as they outscored their New York foes 39-29 down the stretch to walk away with their third win of the season.
“It shows me that we’re all bought in, one through five,” said Kenny Got Work after the match. “In previous games if we go down six or eight, we’re just out of it. Our body language is just sort of slouched, and tonight, we showed heart, and I think this was a big win for us.”
— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) July 10, 2021
Once again, all five Raptors Uprising players nearly finished in double-digit scoring, with only All Hail Trey coming up short, finishing with eight points. Kenny Got Work led the way for Toronto, posting 25 points and seven assists, while Timelycook had himself a night overall, capped off with a six-for-six shooting performance from the field in Game 2, including knocking down five-for-five from three-point range.
“We feel pretty good, I just have to clean up a few things,” said Kenny Got Work. “It’s our first time this season losing the first game and bouncing back and winning the second game. Usually we bounce back and get flooded like a bad team, but tonight we showed some grit and it’s some great momentum moving forward into [Saturday] night’s game.”
Toronto will quickly turn their attention to Saturday night, as they’ll square off against Cavs Legion GC (5-11) in yet another two-game series. This is the first time these two teams have met this season, which means Raptors Uprising will get their first look at oFab in a Cleveland uniform. The second overall pick back in 2018 was traded from Celtics Crossover Gaming to Cavs Legion in the offseason. They enter Saturday’s contest on high following a bit of an upset win over Kings Guard Gaming midweek.
“Cavs Legion, it seems like they’ve been getting up to play the good teams, and against the bad teams, they’ve been struggling,” said Kenny Got Work. “We just got to go in and play with the same energy we had tonight and we should come out with the two wins.”
Another story line to watch out for will be the play of All Hail Trey. The Arkansas native was acquired by Toronto from Cleveland this offseason, and one can expect that the sharpshooting power forward has had this matchup circled on his calendar for a while.
— Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) July 10, 2021
“I’m expecting him to be Trey,” said Kenny Got Work. “He’s going to come out and hit some shots from the corner and give us some great energy, that’s what he did tonight and that’s what I’m expecting.
“But I think it’s going to be like times-five because he has a point to prove against his old team.”