What's up basketball fans! I am here again @dwin0603 to give you another exciting basketball discussion for another episode of NBA Talk, and today we will have a short recap of the match between the Philadelphia 76ers VS Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of their best of 7 playoff series for the Semi-finals. Let's start!
It was a great night in the North as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 92-90 in Game 7 led by Kawhi Leonard's 41 points including the buzzer-beater that ends the series in style. The Raptors will now advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks while the Sixers are eliminated in the playoffs and this might be the last game for Jimmy Butler in Philly.
As expected of a Game 7, it was an all-out battle as both teams go toe-to-toe and just brought everything they've got in every possession of the game. Both teams gave each a hard time scoring the basket in the first period. Sixers missed their first 9 attempts and finished the quarter shooting 5 for 24 while the Raptors shot 5 for 19. Toronto was up 18-13 at the end of the first quarter and at halftime, the Raptors still have the lead, 44-40 led by Kawhi and Siakam's seven points plus Lowry's six.
Toronto extended the lead to 9 points early in the third period but the Sixers immediately answered using their 16-0 run to take the lead when the Raptors struggled and missed 10 shots. But, Kawhi got hot and scored 11 points to take a 3 point lead at the end of the third.
The Fourth quarter was the start of the true battle. It was a close fight up to the final minutes of the quarter. With three and a half minutes remaining, JJ Redick ties the game at 85 with his three-point play hitting a jumper and getting fouled by Ibaka. Then, Leonard answered back with a long jumper of his own to take the lead, 87-85. On the next possession, Philly turns it over with Kyle Lowry's steal and feed it to Siakam for a layup which gives them a 4 point cushion with less than 2 minutes left.
Jimmy Butler cuts the deficit to 3 after sinking 1 out of 2 free throws while Kawhi Leonard missed to jump shots in the next possession. And with 24 seconds left on the clock, Joel Embiid was fouled and converted 2 free throws to cut it to 1. Then, they fouled Leonard intentionally and luckily, Kawhi missed 1 out of 2 free throws and Jimmy Butler's layup in transition ties the game at 90. Toronto calls a timeout and the last possession with 4 seconds to go made history as Kawhi Leonard hits the Game winner from the corner against the 7-foot tall Joel Embiid who cries his way out of the court after the game.
It was hard for the process to accept this loss because they're almost there. Just a little more to win it but it didn't happen. They had chances, this team built a lot bringing Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler to complete the process but still came up short. It will never be the same team again for Philly next year as Harris and Butler might go somewhere else as they hit free agency.
Meanwhile, for the Raptors, looks like they found a gem in Kawhi Leonard who might break the curse and bring them all the way to the Finals. He's been brilliant all throughout the playoffs. He's averaging 34 points on 54 percent shooting in their series against the Sixers. That was outstanding and I think it's the most since MJ. Now, we will see another must-see Conference Finals between the best team in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks VS the Toronto Raptors.
Kawhi Leonard - 41 pts, 8 reb
Serge Ibaka - 17 pts, 8 reb
Pascal Siakam - 11 pts, 11 reb
Joel Embiid - 21 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast
Jimmy Butler - 16 pts, 4 reb
JJ Redick - 17 pts