Charlotte Closes Out First Season with Postseason Berth, Top-8 Finish
A memorable inaugural season in the NBA 2K League came to an end on Friday evening for Hornets Venom GT as they were eliminated by an undefeated Raptors Uprising GC squad via a 2-0 sweep.
Coming on the heels of their last-second win over Nets GC one night earlier, Hornets Venom got off to a relatively good start in Game 1, leading by as many as seven points in the opening frame. Toronto eventually pulled even in the third quarter though, and the lead switched hands a couple times over the next several minutes of play.
Down 60-57 midway through the fourth, Charlotte had a game-tying three blocked and taken the other way for an easy Toronto dunk. Hornets Venom then either had turnovers or missed shots on its next five possessions and Raptors Uprising rolled to a 74-64 opening win.
Guards Justin “Snubby” Stemerman (27 points) and Alex “Expose” Whelan (17 points) led Charlotte in scoring and center Xavier “Type” Vescovi racked up eight points, 16 rebounds, six assists and five steals. Guard Kenneth “Kenny Got Work” Hailey (22 points), forward Eric “TimelyCook” Donald (18 points) and center Jerry “Sick One” Knapp (16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists) paced Toronto in the victory.
— Hornets Venom GT (@HornetsVenomGT) August 21, 2020
Leading by one after the first quarter of Game 2, Raptors Uprising outscored Hornets Venom, 18-10 in the second to take a 39-30 lead into the break. The advantage grew to 13 by the start of the fourth and Toronto ultimately just ran away over the last few minutes of action for an 86-58 win and a berth in the semifinals of the NBA 2K League Playoffs.
Forward Gio “Trap” Elizondo (17 points), Snubby (14 points), Type (13 points and 14 rebounds) and forward Zaeya “Zae” Ishak (11 points) all scored in double figures in the season-ending loss. Kenny Got Work racked up 33 points and nine assists, Sick One added 18 points and nine rebounds and guard Maurice “ReeceMode” Flowers finished with 16 points for Toronto.
— x-Hornets Venom GT (@HornetsVenomGT) August 21, 2020
Charlotte committed 31 turnovers over the two-game span after registering just 15 against Nets GC on Thursday night. Raptors Uprising did much of its damage from the three-point line, going 24-of-40 (60 percent) on such attempts, while Hornets Venom hit on just 11-of-31 shots from long range (35 percent).
The winners of today’s Raptors Uprising-vs-Wizards DG and Jazz Gaming-vs-Warriors Gaming Squad semifinal matchups will meet next Friday, Aug. 28 in a best-of-five-series for the 2020 NBA 2K League Championship. Catch all the action on ESPN, Twitch.TV/NBA2KLeague or YouTube Gaming.
by Sam Perley