NBA: Clutch Lowry leads Raptors over Celtics, as series goes to Game 7


Posted at Sep 10 2020 10:11 AM | Updated as of Sep 10 2020 10:52 AM

Kyle Lowry hit a tough basket with 11.7 seconds left in the game to cap off a phenomenal performance, as the Toronto Raptors beat the Boston Celtics 125-122 in double overtime Wednesday (US time) and send their Eastern Conference semifinals to a deciding Game 7.

A different Raptors team emerged from a Game 5 blowout loss, as the defending champions went toe to toe with a Celtics squad that looked ready to advance. 

Lowry played a huge part in that turnaround, as he tallied 33 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists to go with 6 3-pointers to stave off elimination.

Game 7 is on Friday, with the winner taking on the Miami Heat, who advanced after ousting the Milwaukee Bucks in 5 games.

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"Just winning," an exhausted Lowry said after playing 53 minutes. "That was two hard teams playing hard. We had to win the game. Win or go home.

"Get it done. Don't matter who has to do it. Ready for game seven."

After Boston took a 117-115 lead on a Daniel Theis dunk, the Raptors answered with a 3-pointer by OG Anunoby and a 3-point play by Norman Powell off a steal on Jayson Tatum to put them up 121-117. 

Tatum's ensuing basket made it a 2-point game with 33.3 seconds left, setting up Lowry's clutch shot -- a fallaway 15-footer over the outstretched arm of Kemba Walker. 

Tatum kept Boston's hopes alive with a triple afterward, but Powell made 2 free throws when the Celtics were forced to foul and Marcus Smart missed his attempt at an equalizer from behind the arc. 

Powell scored 23 points off the bench, 10 in the second overtime, while Fred VanVleet chipped in 21 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists for Toronto, which won despite losing in the rebounding (58-46) and assists (32-22) departments.

"It was a hard-played tough game. Could have gone either way," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "Great basketball game. Right now, put some ice on your legs and get ready for Friday."

Jaylen Brown finished with 31 points and 16 rebounds, and Tatum added 29 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists, while Smart had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Boston, which was up by as many as 12 points in the first half.

Walker, who was spectacular in Game 5, struggled with 5 points on 2-of-11 shooting. 

Celtics trainers were working with injured playmaker Gordon Hayward, who has re-completed quarantine in the COVID-19 bubble at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, but remains out indefinitely with a right ankle sprain.

The Celtics sent the game to overtime at 98-all after shutting down the Raptors in the last 4:24 of regulation. A pair of Theis buckets helped Boston overcome a 4-point deficit.

In the first extension, 5 straight points by Powell put Toronto up 106-104, but Lowry was called for a shooting foul on Brown with 19 seconds on the clock, leading to two free throws and a second overtime. -- With a report by Agence France-Presse