The Toronto Raptors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-117, with Kawhi Leonard scoring 38 points, including the winner, three seconds before the buzzer.
The play that ended with Leonard’s jumper had been practiced earlier, and according to coach Nick Nurse, it was played to perfection on Friday.
Marc Gasol scored had 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Lowry had a double-double, with 19 points, 10 assists and 7 assists. Pascal Siakam contributed with 16 points, while Dany Green scored 11 in the Raptors’ seventh win in their last 8 games against the Trail Blazers. This was also the team’s fourth consecutive win at Scotiabank Arena.
CJ McCollum scored 35 points for the Trail Blazers, but it didn’t help the team win their sixth game in a row.
Toronto looked impressive, especially in offense. Lowry and Gasol had a great game, and at one point in the third quarter, the Raptors were 16 points up. Coach Nurse praised Gasol and pointed out the positive influence he had on Lowry.
Once Again, A Thrilling Finish Decided the Winner
By the time the fourth quarter started, it looked the Raptors would stroll to yet another win, but the Trail Blazers didn’t intend to go down without a fight. They started the last quarter of the game with a 10-2, and with Lillard’s three-pointer 6:47 before the end, they pulled within a point. Lillard scored another three-pointer 3:25 before the end to tie the game.
This was a prelude to a thrilling finish of the game. Green hit a three-pointer with 57 seconds left on the clock to tie the game and bring the crowd at Scotiabank Arena on its feet. Soon after, Toronto was one point up after Lowry scored, and soon after Leonard score both free throws to give the Reports a three-point lead – 18 seconds before the buzzer!
But the Raptors’ lead lasted for only four seconds, as Lillard was fouled by Lowry on a three-pointer. He then scored all three free throws to even the score.
Lenard once again brought the home team the victory, after him jumper bounced off the rim and enter the basket 1.5 seconds before the end, bringing the Raptors their 46th win this season. The team from Toronto sits behind the leading Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Raptors will play their next game in Detroit on Sunday when they’ll face the Pistons and their face former coach Dwane Casey. They’ll be back in Ontario on Tuesday, where the Houston Rockets arrive at Scotiabank Arena.