Kawhi Leonard bounced, bounced, bounced, bounced the Philadelphia 76ers out of the playoffs with a dramatic buzzer-beater in Game 7.
Leonard hit a shot from the corner over Joel Embiid at the buzzer that bounced off the rim four times before dropping in to give the Toronto Raptors a 92-90 victory over the 76ers on Sunday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semi-final series. It was the first winning buzzer-beater in a Game 7 in NBA history.
'It was great,' Leonard said. 'That's something I never experienced before, Game 7, a game-winning shot. It was a blessing to be able to get to that point and make that shot and feel that moment.'
Kawhi Leonard produced a piece of history as he sent Toronto Raptors through in the playoffs
Leonard went to the corner before producing a first Game 7-winning buzzer-beater for 92-90
It bounced four times on the rim before dropping in to spark wild celebrations in Toronto
After Philadelphia's Jimmy Butler tied it with a driving layup with 4.2 seconds left, Toronto used its final timeout to draw up a play for Leonard, who dribbled toward the right corner and launched the high-arching shot.
It bounced to the top of the backboard, hit the near side of the rim again, then the other side twice before going through, setting off a wild celebration as the Raptors advanced to the conference finals for the second time in four seasons. They will open the conference finals on Wednesday night at Milwaukee.
'It's tough,' Butler said. 'Nobody likes to lose, not that way.'
Leonard scored 41 points on 16-of-39 shooting.
The Raptors talisman was so effective at both ends of the floor as he finished with 41 points
He was also a vital asset defensively as he blocked Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons scoring
'He was awesome at both ends,' Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. 'That's his uniqueness. Not only can he get you 30 and anywhere upwards from that, but there's moments when he can just decide you're not scoring, either.'
The Raptors ran a similar play for Leonard during the first round against Orlando Magic. That time, he caught the ball and shot without dribbling.
'Remembering that moment, I knew I had