For the first time since Kawhi Leonard’s bouncing miracle last year, the Toronto Raptors will play a Game 7. To get there, it took a game just as wild as that win over the Philadelphia 76ers so many months ago.
Trading haymaker after haymaker in two overtimes, the Raptors outlasted the Boston Celtics in Game 6 for a classic 125-122 win.
Throwing many of the Raptors’ punches was, who else, Kyle Lowry, who led all scorers with 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting (6-of-10 from deep), plus eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and just one turnover. His final points came on a clutch fadeaway to give the Raptors a four-point lead with just a few seconds remaining.
Supporting Lowry in overtime was Norman Powell, whose free throws sealed the game for the Raptors. Powell finished with 23 points.
The Celtics seemed headed for advancement for much of the first half, when the Raptors struggled to get anything going on offense. Meanwhile, Jaylen Brown posted 21 first-half points, and eventually finished with a team-high 31. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart both posted 20-plus points, the latter scoring a triple-double.
The Raptors and Celtics will play Game 7 on Friday.
Bizarre ending to regulation
Before overtime, regulation ended with a bizarre sequence of events. Referees were involved.
With the clock ticking down, Kemba Walker, who finished with just five points, drove for a game-winning layup and missed. Raptors wing OG Anunoby got the rebound, but quick hands from Smart and Daniel Theis appeared to force a jump ball. However, one official noticed Lowry calling a timeout just as Anunoby got his hands on the ball, and the timeout was ultimately granted.
Given a chance to win the game with two seconds left, the Raptors inbounded to Pascal Siakam. With the Celtics having a foul to give, Tatum fouled Siakam to break up the shot. The Raptors’ second attempt resulted in a dramatically close 3-point attempt from Siakam, and the game reached overtime.
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