Raptors Uprising GC down Knicks to keep unbeaten streak alive

Jake (Legit 973) Knapp, left to right, Maurice (ReeceMode) Flowers, Eric Trent (TimelyCook) Donald, Kenneth (KennyGotWork) Hailey, Gerald (Sick One) Knapp and Anthony (Wuan) Rivas are shown in this handout image provided by Raptors Uprising GC. (Raptors Uprising GC via CP)

TORONTO — Raptors Uprising GC improved its unbeaten esports record to 5-0 Tuesday with a best-of-three series victory over Knicks Gaming in the NBA 2K League.

Toronto opened with an 83-65 win before recording the sweep with a 78-72 decision. Knicks Gaming fell to 1-2.

Due to the pandemic, the esports league is staging games remotely rather than at its New York studio. Each series win represents a game in the standings with teams playing a 16-game regular season.

Kenneth (Kenny Got Work) Hailey led Toronto with 37 points in Game 1 while Trent (Timelycook) Donald added 26. Rookie point guard Chris (Duck) Charles led the Knicks with 24 points.

Defence helped trigger a 13-0 run for the Raptors in a first quarter that saw Hailey score 13 points and account for three of his team’s five steals as Toronto built a 22-16 lead. Hailey won the league’s player of the week honours in Week 1.

The Raptors led 43-28 at the half with Hailey (20 points) and Donald (17) combining for 37 of Toronto’s first-half points. The Knicks had 12 turnovers in the first half with seven coming from Charles, the second overall pick in the February draft.

Toronto centre Gerald (Sick One) Knapp, a finalist for player honours in Week 2, had 11 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for his ninth double-double of the season.

The Knicks turned the ball over 16 times, often in the face of tenacious Toronto defence.

Game 2 was closer with the Knicks leading 37-35 at the half. Toronto regained the lead in the second half with Hailey finishing with 32 points and Maurice (ReeceMode) Flowers adding 28, with eight three-pointers.

Knicks Gaming won the inaugural league title in 2018 but has gone through a total roster overhaul since then.

Raptors Uprising meets Hawks Talon GC on Thursday in the first-ever meeting between the two.

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