Kawhi Leonard hit a sensational game-winning buzzer beater as Toronto Raptors beat Philadelphia 76er’s in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
With the game level at 90-90 and seemingly headed into overtime, the Raptors star made the jump shot at the death to send home fans at Scotiabank Arena delirious.
Just like the series, the game was a never ending plot of twist and turns with drama at every hurdle. The 76er’s lead at halftime and the Raptors had gradually cut the deficit leading to a grande finale.
It was the first Game 7 buzzer-beater in NBA history and as the ball uneasily bounced on the rim four times before finally making its way into the basket to win the tie.
There were scenes of utter pandemonium and jubilation as a veracious roar swept around both the inside and outside the arena. Toronto’s amazing season is not yet over.
Raptors’ fans and NBA fans across North America took to social media to state their amazement at the scene with one CBS broadcaster even calling Leonard’s last second make ‘the shot heard around the world’.
“I just wanted to go out and leave it all on the floor. This could have been my last game for the season – I would have had to wait four months, five months to put another shot up in a game. I was not worried about makes or misses, just trying to will us to a win.”
Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors.
Leonard said later in a post-game news conference that he ‘knew it was Game 7’ and ‘didn’t want to leave any shots in (his) mind’. He made 41 points in the game, but the attention was expectedly on the final 2.
Raptors now move onto the Eastern Conference finals series against Milwaukee Bucks, in a meeting of the top two teams in the conference during the regular season.
The two teams were also Divisional champions as the Bucks topped the Central Division whilst the Toronto Raptors won the Atlantic Division. The best-of-7 tie begins on May 15th.
The Western Conference finals series will be held the following day between Pacific Division champions Golden State Warriors and Portland Trial Blazers of the Northwest Division.
Two-time defending NBA titlists and champions in 3 of the 4 previous seasons, Golden State are favourites to retain their crown again, but Toronto will be looking to upset the odds again.
The NBA finals series will commence after the Conference finals series and all 4 teams involved will be looking to avoid drama in order to be the one lifting the trophy at the end of the domestic season.