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Leonard buzzer-beater sends Toronto to conference finals

The Toronto Raptors are going to the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in franchise history after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 92-90 on Sunday night.

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Tomas Karageorgos | Report

The Toronto Raptors are going to the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in franchise history after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 92-90 on Sunday night.

The Raptors played a seven-man rotation, with Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka getting minutes. Serge Ibaka performed well off the bench with 17 points on 6-10 shooting.

Kawhi Leonard was the centre of attention as he has been throughout this series, he scored 41 points, the most in a Raptors playoff game. Pascal Siakam recorded a quiet double-double as he scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Kyle Lowry had 10 points to go along with six assists and six boards, along with some important plays on both ends of the floor.

All 76ers starters scored in double-figures. Joel Embiid scored 21 points and grabbed 11 boards. JJ Reddick scored 17 and scored four three-pointers, Jimmy Butler had 16. Tobias Harris recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Ben Simmons had 13.

The Raptors came out with intensity which led to Philadelphia turnovers.

The Raptors may have had a bigger lead during the game if they took advantage of the opposition’s slow start.

Leonard was a walking highlight reel for all game 7.

Former Raptor and fan-favourite José Calderón was in the house.

This is a small sample of the many little things that Lowry did to keep his team in it.

The Raptors found themselves in a similar situation as they did in 2001 in Philadelphia. Game 7, with the last possession. 18 years ago Vince Carter’s shot failed to win the series, but yesterday had a different ending with a different player.

This was the first buzzer-beater, game-winner shot in a game 7 in NBA history. That shot will live on in Toronto Raptors history forever.

The Raptors have to regroup for a new challenge in the form of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals is on Wednesday at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m.


Featured photo from NBA Canada.

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