The buzzer sounded, the ball dropped, and OG Anunoby walked towards the bench like a businessman after a day’s work.

With half a second left and the Toronto Raptors going through nearly sure elimination, Anunoby caught a crosscourt move from Kyle Lowry that sailed over everybody’s heads, and hit a three-pointer to breathe life into the NBA champions’ playoff hopes.

“I anticipated to make it,” stated Anunoby, who was mobbed by delirious teammates after the clutch shot. “I do not shoot attempting to overlook, I wasn’t shocked.”

Lowry had 31 factors and located Anunoby with the precision move with 0.5 seconds on the clock to carry the Raptors to an exhilarating 104-103 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

“The move was nothing,” Lowry stated. “OG made the shot. All of the credit score goes to the shot, man. That is a tricky shot. Give OG that credit score. The move was simply to get it to a man like OG. It is OG’s second, man. That is an incredible second for that child.”

WATCH | Anunoby’s buzzer-beater with 0.5 seconds left provides Raptors victory:

OG Anunoby linked on an enormous three on the buzzer to present the Toronto Raptors a 104-103 victory in recreation Three in opposition to the Boston Celtics. Toronto now path 2-1 of their East semifinal collection. 1:39

The Raptors dodged an enormous bullet in slicing the Celtics’ result in 2-1 of their best-of-seven collection heading into Saturday’s Recreation 4. No NBA workforce has ever come again from being down 0-Three to win a collection.

“I am undecided that that does not rank with our gutsiest performances,” coach Nick Nurse stated.

Fred VanVleet had 25 factors and Pascal Siakam, who’s struggled within the NBA restart, had 11 of his 16 factors within the third quarter. Anunoby, who missed all of Toronto’s historic post-season run final yr after an appendectomy, completed with 12 factors.

Lowry, who performed your entire second half and completed with eight assists and 6 rebounds, stated the final play wasn’t drawn up for Anunoby. However there have been maybe no higher arms to obtain the ball than the unflappable 23-year-old.

“That is simply what he does, that is him,” Lowry stated. “I do know deep down inside he is excited and he’ll get a variety of textual content messages and he wants the credit score, he deserves all of the love and celebration he is getting tonight, that child works extraordinarily laborious and it is his second.

“Let him reside in it after which I am going to destroy it tomorrow once we’re watching movie and I am going to inform him what he tousled on.”

VanVleet is a fan of Anunoby’s confidence.

“I like it, I like it,” he stated. “I hope he continues to have that kind of swag.”

Lowry performed like he had no intention of leaving Disney World but, carrying Toronto with little help by way of a primary half that noticed the Raptors’ seven-point lead evaporate right into a 10-point deficit at halftime.

He stated he is obtained a textual content from an in depth pal earlier within the day instructing him to “cease ready.”

“That was just about the sport plan for me tonight, to cease ready and be aggressive from the soar. [The friend] was right,” he stated.

Lowry drives to the basket in the course of the first quarter in opposition to three Celtics. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Photos)

Who was the pal? Lowry would not say. However options on social media that it was former Raptors teammate DeMar DeRozan whipped Raptors followers in a frenzy.

Toronto locked down on the defensive finish after the break, and 6 consecutive stops sparked a 21-9 run, capped by a Siakam three-pointer, that lastly had the Raptors again on prime with 3:40 to play within the third.

The quarter closed on a controversial name when Brad Wanamaker kneed Lowry within the groin whereas driving to the ring late within the third quarter, leaving Lowry curled on the courtroom in ache. Each he and Nurse have been furious, however after the officers reviewed the play Lowry was referred to as for a defensive foul, and Wanamaker’s basket and free throw put Boston up 80-76 with one quarter left.

“We have had a variety of gutsy performances from this crew. It is form of what this group is. . . a variety of guys who’ve fought their entire lives to get to the place they’re, amid different expectations,” Nurse stated.

The Raptors have been lastly transferring the ball within the fourth quarter, and when Norm Powell drilled a 3 with 6:29 to play, Toronto took a two-point lead.

After VanVleet drove to the ring to tie it up late, Walker discovered a wide-open Daniel Theis underneath the ring for an uncontested dunk with 0.5 on the clock.

It regarded like recreation over till Anunoby took the move from Lowry to attain.

“Actually, actually pleased for him, he performed his tail off, man,” Nurse stated. “Good that he will get massive reward for it as a result of he performed so laborious everywhere in the courtroom.”

Seeking to buck the chances

Solely six per cent of groups have ever come again from 0-2 to win a collection, together with the Raptors final season. With Kawhi Leonard within the lineup, they misplaced their first two to Milwaukee within the convention finals however then gained 4 straight to advance to the Finals.

The large distinction in bubble basketball although is that Toronto would have performed this recreation and Saturday’s on the parquet ground of Boston’s TD Backyard having given up homecourt benefit. However within the NBA bubble, homecourt benefit means 300 digital followers, and little else.

Regardless of the venue, Boston has had the reply for the NBA champions all season, dropping simply as soon as within the earlier six conferences, together with three earlier wins within the NBA bubble.

“It hurts and stings to lose,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens stated. “However we’ll simply get again to it and prepare for Saturday.”

Lowry pushed the tempo from the tipoff, scoring 15 factors in a primary quarter that noticed Toronto lead by seven. Walker hit a three-pointer on the buzzer and the Celtics led 33-28 to finish the quarter.

The woeful taking pictures that is plagued the Raptors all through this collection continued within the second quarter. They shot 3-for-13 from distance, and trailed by as many as 10 factors within the quarter, and Walker once more hit a buzzer-beater to finish the quarter and Boston went into the locker-room up 57-47.

The Celtics led wire to wire to simply win the collection opener 112-94. Boston edged the Raptors 102-99 in Recreation 2.


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