The unbeaten Raptors Uprising GC set an NBA 2K League scoring record in a 109-51 demolition of Celtics Crossover Gaming in Game 1 of their best-of-three esports series Friday night.
Pistons GT set the previous single-game scoring record in a 108-69 win over Heat Check Gaming in July 2018.
Game 2 was much closer but the Raptors (9-0) swept the series with a 64-54 victory to leave the Celtics (0-7) winless on the season.
It was a battle of two teams at opposite ends of the standings with the Raptors at the top and the Celtics at the bottom.
The win extended Toronto’s franchise-record win streak to nine and set a single-season record for victories with seven games remaining. The Raptors finished 8-6 in the inaugural 2018 season and went 8-8 last season.
The record-breaking win came on the eve of Saturday’s one-year anniversary of the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA Finals.
Trent (Timelycook) Donald, a lockdown defender, sank a shot from the corner with some 25 seconds left in Game 1 to erase the previous league mark of 108 points. Donald finished with 39 points, seven assists and eight steals.
There were two triple-doubles. Raptors star point guard Kenneth (Kenny Got Work) Hailey had 34 points, 13 assists and 10 steals while centre Jerry (Sick One) Knapp had 10 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists.
Toronto forced 29 turnovers.
The Raptors were coming off a narrow win Thursday over Blazer5 Gaming that required a win in OT in the deciding game of the best-of-three series.
Toronto has now won 18 of 21 games this season, sweeping six of their nine series. While the global pandemic has forced teams into remote play instead of at the league’s New York studio, the Raptors have not lost a game at home.
Friday marked another matchup of elite point guards in Hailey and the Celtics’ (oFAB) Albano Thomallari, the second overall pick in the inaugural 2018 NBA 2K league draft.
Hailey, who went 11th overall in the 2018 draft. was player of the month in May and also has two player of the week awards this season.
Toronto raced into a 21-7 lead in Game 1 and led 25-12 after the first quarter. The Raptors pushed the lead to 26 in the second quarter and was up 47-23 at the half with Donald leading the way with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
The Celtics had 14 turnovers in the half with seven from Thomallari.
Toronto opened the second half with a 17-0 run to increase its lead to 64-23. The lead increased to 45 points and, after a 33-point third, led 80-35 going into the fourth.
Thomallari led the Celtics with 18 points in Game 1 but also had 15 turnovers.
Game 2 was closer with Toronto leading 31-26 at the half. Thomallari, hitting 10 of 15 shots, had 22 of the Celtics’ 26 points.
Thomallari led the Celtics with 42 points. Hailey had 18 points and 10 assists for Toronto while Knapp had 12 points, 11 rebounds and six rebounds. Maurice (ReeceMode) Flowers had 15 points, Jake (Legit 973) Knapp — Jerry’s younger brother — had 10 points and Donald added nine points.
The league switches its focus next week to The Tipoff, the first in-season tournament of the 2020 season. All 23 teams will compete in the tournament remotely from their local markets for a total prize pool of US$160,000.
Raptors Uprising will face both Blazer5 Gaming and Lakers Gaming twice on June 17 in Group 6 play.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2020.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press