Kawhi Leonard hits the game winning buzzer during Game 7 in Toronto on Sunday, May 12, 2019. Photo by: Kishan Mistry/Yahoo Sports Canada
May 12, 2019 — Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing mothers out there, I am so grateful for mine! Kinda unfair the two semi-final games took place today because the losing teams went home hurt. Blazers slowly defeated the Nuggets in Denver and 76ers lost by two thanks to a buzzer beater.
Blazers vs Nuggets
By halftime, I thought it was a wrap for the Blazers. They were down by ten the entire first half and Damian Lilliard (13 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) was dry on scoring.
In the second half CJ McCollum (37 points, nine rebounds) took it upon himself to turn his offense to a ten and dominate the Nuggets defense. He was hitting shot after shot and got the offense to feel his energy and do the same. McCollum had a 14 point quarter and by the end of the third the Blazers were down by one point, 71-72.
During the fourth, Nikola Jokic (29 points, 13 rebounds, two assists), took his open shots, but he continued to miss them. The Nuggets energy had shifted and they were behind for most of the quarter. Blazers picked up their defense and rebounding which helped them gain a lead. Key turning point: Jamal Murray (17 points, six rebound, five assists) had a wide-open fast-break layup, yet McCollum had chased him down the court and blocked it on the backboard. Denver got the ball back but missed the open shot, and from there it was apparent their energy was gone.
Lillard who struggled shooting all night, was able to hit timely baskets like his 22-foot-three-pointer, which brought the score to 92-85. The random red fans scattered in the crowd were hyped.
I’m not a hater on Portland so I’m glad Dame has a shot in the WCF, and against his hometown team! But we all know I gotta root for the #Dubs all the way 😛I think this series will definitely go to a Game six. First game is Tuesday night in Oracle, who do you predict will win first?
76ers vs Raptors
What a series for the East! 76ers beat the Raptors in Philadelphia Game 6 thanks to Jimmy Butler’s fantastic offense. Butler carried the team throughout with 25 points and eight assists.
For Game 7 back in Toronto however, Kawhi Leonard (41 points, 11 rebounds) truly stepped up his offense in the second half to push the momentum for his team. If you check out Leonard’s stats they aren’t that pretty: 41% shooting and 16-39 from the field. Once Leonard was hot, the 76ers had to play harder on defense, but Leonard continued to take his open shots. Leonard scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.
Leonard was fouled late in the fourth and made 1-of-2 free throws, Sixers rebounded the ball and Jimmy Butler (16 points, four rebounds) drove down the court for a tough layup. Tied 90 all, the Raptors had four seconds left on the clock. Marc Gasol (seven points, 11 rebounds) passed the ball in bounds to Leonard and the rest was history:
Such a crazy shot over Joel Embid in the corner for the win! This was the first buzzer beater in the history of Game 7s. The way the ball bounced on the rim…unbelievable sight. When the ball first hit the rim I thought it was going to fall over; practice makes perfect. There is literally no movement in the audience until the ball falls into the net, it was pretty dope to see live.
An epically fantastic way to end the game and send the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals. Joel Embid (21 points, 11 rebounds) was very upset at the end and left the court in tears.
Both the Sixers and Nuggets played incredible throughout the series. Basketball is slowly ending and I’m not ready! 😦 I’m not too sure who will take the East..I would probably say Milwaukee in seven. Here are the photos of Leonard’s shot if you would like to view it from all angles as I did.