TORONTO — Raptors Uprising GC continued its perfect start to the NBA 2K League esports season, sweeping Nets GC in its best-of-three series Friday to improve to 7-0.
The Raptors raced out to an early lead in Game 1 but had to rally to take Game 2.
Toronto downed Brooklyn 84-71 in Game 1 and 79-72 in Game 2 with star point guard Kenneth (Kenny Got Work) Hailey, an early MVP candidate, racking up 75 points in the Raptors’ two wins.
Hailey was averaging 32.9 points, 6.4 assists, and 3.1 steals going into Friday’s game.
The Nets, who had won three straight, fell to 3-2.
Hailey led the way with 32 points — and zero turnovers — in Game 1 while rookie power forward Maurice (ReeceMode) Flowers added 25 points. Centre Jerry (Sick One) Knapp recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Point guard Josh (Choc) Humphries led the Nets with 32 points and 10 assists. Humphries, the ninth overall pick in the February draft, was averaging 31.6 points and 8.3 assists per game prior to Friday’s play.
In Game 2, the Nets rallied to lead 18-15 after the first quarter — with Humphries accounting for 14 of Brooklyn’s points— and 36-32 at the half. Hailey, who had 14 points in the half, hit a late three-pointer to reduce the Raptors’ deficit.
But Toronto reeled off a 22-7 run to open the third quarter and led 60-50 going into the final quarter.
Brooklyn had some connectivity issues in Game 1, according to the NBA 2K official broadcast feed.
The NBA 2K League’s third season was to have started March 24 but was postponed until May 5 because of the global pandemic. The first six weeks of the rescheduled season are being played remotely rather than at the league’s New York City studio although the league has yet to say what happens beyond Week 6.
It was the fourth game in four days for Brooklyn, which did not open its season until May 29. In contrast, Toronto began play May 5.
Toronto, which has now swept five of its first seven series, hadn’t played in 15 days following a Week 4 bye. The Raptors snapped Hawks Talon GC’s three-game win streak last time they played on May 21.
Friday marked the second ever meeting between the two teams. Toronto won 54-42 in week 3 last season. That game saw former Raptors centre Seanquai (KingQuai614)Harris pull down a franchise-record 20 rebounds to go along with 10 points.
Toronto plays Blazer5 Gaming on June 11 and Celtics Crossover Gaming on June 12.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press