OG Anunoby drained a buzzer-beating three-pointer as the Toronto Raptors resuscitated their NBA title defense yesterday with a 104-103 victory over the Boston Celtics.
Kyle Lowry, tasked with inbounding the ball with half a second on the clock and the Raptors down 103-101, lofted a perfect arcing pass over Boston’s towering Tacko Fall to Anunoby on the opposite sideline.
Anunoby set his feet and fired, and the Raptors narrowed the deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series to 2-1.
“I expected to make it. I don’t shoot trying to miss …. I wasn’t surprised,” said Anunoby, who was mobbed by his teammates.
The Raptors avoided the 0-3 hole — from which no NBA team has come back to win a post-season series.
“The pass was nothing. OG made the shot,” said Lowry, who led the Raptors with 31 points, six rebounds and eight assists. “All the credit goes to the shot, man. That’s a tough shot. Give OG that credit.”
“Much credit to those guys. That was a hell of a shot,” said Boston’s Walker, who led the Celtics with 29 points.
Jaylen Brown added 19 with 12 rebounds and Jayson Tatum chipped in 15, but Boston have a series on their hands now.
In the late game, Kawhi Leonard had 29 points as the Los Angeles Clippers got off to a roaring start in their Western Conference semi-final by crushing the Denver Nuggets 120-97.
Leonard shot 12-of-16 from the floor and made all four of his free throws while Paul George had 19 points and Marcus Morris finished with 18 for the second seeded Clippers who lead the series 1-0.
The Clippers managed to contain Denver star Jamal Murray, who finished with just 12 points and six assists after scoring 50 points in two games in the previous series against Utah.
Nikola Jokic had 15 points, Paul Millsap finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for Denver who were coming off a grueling seven-game series victory over the Jazz.*AFP