Kawhi Leonard ensured the Toronto Raptors’ win against the Philadelphia 76ers last night in a nail-biting Game 7. The two teams were fighting for the win, as the winner would proceed to the Eastern Conference Finals to meet the Milwaukee Bucks.
With just a few seconds left of the game and the shot clock close to buzzing, Leonard took his shot, knowing that this could be the shot that determined the outcome of the game. And in true dramatic fashion, the basketball ball bounced on the rim a few times before finally going in.
During those few seconds, the city of Toronto held its collective breath, not knowing whether the journey would stop here or if the team would proceed to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Milwaukee Bucks.
You can see the dramatic final seconds of the game here.
The young Toronto Raptors team, established in 1995, have never won an NBA championship. The team doesn’t have a conference championship in its name either, but this year could be the year where it happens. And Toronto is standing proudly behind its team.
After the game, Kawhi Leonard spoke out about the incredible energy Toronto fans delivered Sunday night at the Scotiabank Arena. You can see the clip below, where he talks about how the fans delivered when the team needed it the most.
“I just knew I had to shoot it high,” Leonard said after the game about his performance, according to the National Post. “It ended up a soft touch and it went in.”
“To make that shot, and feel that moment, that’s something I’ll be able to look back on over my career,” he said, adding that he had never made such a shot before that determined the outcome of a playoff game, let alone one that would send the team to the next round.
The win is welcomed in Toronto after Raptors fans felt betrayed last summer when DeMar DeRozan was suddenly traded, breaking up his amazing partnership with Kyle Lowry. Fans were furious, thinking that the duo was Toronto’s shot at the NBA championship title. And yet, after last night’s performance, the trade may be forgiven and forgotten.
The Toronto Raptors will face the Milwaukee Bucks in the next round for the Eastern Conference Finals. The first game is this Wednesday, May 15 with a start time of 8:30/7:30c start time.