The Toronto Raptors gambled the entire future of their franchise on one year of Kawhi Leonard. On Sunday, that bet paid off.
Fueled by 41 points and a game-winner from their two-way superstar, the Raptors advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with a thrilling 92-90 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
What started as a defensive-focused rock fight progressed into a thriller in the fourth quarter, where the Sixers erased a five-point lead with less than five minutes left and a four-point lead with less than one minutes left. What followed will go down in Raptors lore.
Totally how Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors drew it up
Jimmy Butler tied the game at 90 with four seconds left in regulation, giving the Raptors one chance to win it or face overtime. Naturally, the ball ended up in Leonard’s hands.
A running jump shot hit the rim, bounced three feet in the air, then bounced again and again before it finally went through, blowing the roof off the Scotiabank Arena.
Four bounces, two points, one series decided.
It looked even more ridiculous from a halfcourt angle.
The Raptors are now headed to their first conference finals since 2016, but awaiting them will not be LeBron James. Rather, it will be the closest thing the East has left to James in Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
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