TORONTO — Unbeaten Raptors Uprising GC swept Magic Gaming in their best-of-three esports series Tuesday to tie the NBA 2K League record for consecutive regular-season wins at 10.
Toronto (10-0) thumped Orlando 101-61 and 90-73 to match Mavs Gaming’s 10-game win streak in 2019. The Raptors will look to break the record Monday against Heat Check Gaming.
Toronto combined suffocating defence with long-range shooting to dispatch the outmatched Magic (2-6).
Star point guard Kenneth (Kenny Got Work) Hailey, continuing to build his MVP credentials, orchestrated the Toronto offence. The 30-year-old from Memphis, the lone original Raptors Uprising member, had 39 points in Game 1 and 38 in Game 2.
Hailey made all seven three-pointers he attempted in Game 1, shooting 15-of-18 overall with 14 assists. He added 38 points and 12 assists in Game 2, hitting 8-of-12 from the arc.
Toronto was coming off winning the US$160,000 Tipoff Tournament, one of three tournaments during the season. They downed Blazer5 Gaming, Lakers Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Gen.G Tigers and Kings Guard Gaming, en route to the $70,000 winners cheque last week.
Toronto won 10 of 11 games and finished with a points differential of plus-220 during the tournament. Hailey was named MVP, averaging 28 points and 9.5 assists for the tournament.
The Raptors built a early 17-4 lead in Game 1 Tuesday and led 25-11 after a first quarter that saw Toronto hit 11-of-13 shots while forcing six Magic turnovers. Orlando point guard Brendan (Reizey) Hill, last year’s rookie of the year, had four of those turnovers.
Hailey was flawless in the first quarter with 12 points and six assists on 5-of-5 shooting.
Orlando opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run but normal service resumed with a three-pointer from Jake (Legit 973) Knapp and the Raptors, hitting 18-of-22 shots including 6-of-7 from three-point range, led 42-30 at the half.
Toronto reeled off 10 straight points to open the third and led 68-41 going into the fourth after a runaway 26-11 quarter.
Maurice (ReeceMode) Flowers added 26 points and Trent (Timelycook) Donald chipped in with 23 to help a Toronto offence that hit 19-of-21 shots from long-range. Hill led Orlando with 24 points.
Orlando had a better start in Game 2 and led until Toronto sank a three-pointer at the end of the first quarter for a 22-20 lead. Hill had 15 of Orlando’s points in the quarter.
After missing just 10 shots (going 40-of-50) in all of Game 1, the Raptors were off-target on seven attempts in the first quarter of Game 2 (8-of-15).
Paced by Hailey’s 18 points in the second quarter, Toronto got its act together and led 46-39 at the half. And despite an uneven third, the Raptors were up 60-53 going into the fourth.
Five straight Toronto points to open the final quarter added to Orlando’s uphill battle.
Donald added 20 points and Flowers 16. Centre Jerry (Sick One) Knapp, Jake’s older brother, had 10 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Hill led Orlando with 40 points on 17-of-25 shooting.
Toronto combined for 60 assists and made 39-of-49 three-pointers over the two games. Orlando turned the ball over 32 times in total.
The Raptors entered the record book earlier this season when they set an NBA 2K League scoring mark in a 109-51 demolition of Celtics Crossover Gaming on June 12. Pistons GT set the previous single-game scoring record in a 108-69 win over Heat Check Gaming in July 2018.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2020.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press