Kenneth (Kenny Got Work) Hailey scored 86 points in two games Thursday as unbeaten Raptors Uprising GC defeated the Gen.G Tigers at The Turn, a US$260,000 NBA 2K League esports tournament.
The Raptors, seeded first in the single-knockout event, swept No. 16 Gen.G, winning 91-69 and 81-52 to take the best-of-three series.
Hailey had 51 points in Game 1 and 35 in Game 2.
Teams seeded 10-23 started play Wednesday with Gen.G beating Magic Gaming to advance into the 16-team bracket beginning Thursday. The competition runs through Saturday.
Toronto will play No. 8 T-Wolves Gaming in Friday's quarterfinal.
The league-leading Raptors came into the tournament riding a 13-game winning streak. Last month they swept Kings Guard Gaming to win the $160,000 Tipoff tournament, claiming the $70,000 first prize.
No team has ever won the first two tournaments in a season.
Hailey hit his first 12 shots in Game 1, including four three-pointers. Up by six after the first quarter, Toronto pulled away in the second quarter with a 20-4 run and led 48-29 at the half thanks to 28 points from Hailey.
The star point guard was good on 21-of-29 shots en route to his 51 points, adding nine assists. Centre Jerry (Sick One) Knapp had 14 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
Point guard Dhwan (ShiftKaii) White, the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NBA 2K League draft, led Gen.G with 29 points and nine assists.
Toronto forced 20 turnovers.
The Raptors trailed 10-0 in Game 2 but cut the deficit to 20-18 at the end of the first quarter. And then it was game on. Toronto led 40-29 at the half and was never in trouble the rest of the way.
Knapp had 16 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists. Maurice (ReeceMode) Flowers added 21 points. White led Gen.G with 29 points.
While Toronto won the two previous meetings this season with Gen.G, it didn't come easy. The Raptors have been pushed to a Game 3 just five times this season with the expansion team from Shanghai doing it twice.
First place at The Turn is worth $117,000 with $52,000 for the runner-up and $22,100 each for the third-and fourth-place finishers. The fifth through eighth teams earn $11,700 apiece.
This tournament has an added wrinkle in that via an "Archetype Ban," with specific player archetypes banned in each three-game series.
The NBA 2K video game has a variety of player archetypes with different skill sets for each position.
The Raptors, who have already clinched a playoff spot, have three more regular-season outings remaining — July 29 against Kings Guard Gaming, July 30 against Lakers Gaming and Aug. 7 against Cavs Legion GC.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2020.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press