WELP. Sorry, Sixers fans. This fucken stings. Kawhi Leonard just ended the Philadelphia 76ers season on one of the most dramatic, agonising buzzer beaters in NBA Playoff history, hauling the Toronto Raptors into an Eastern Conference Finals berth in a gripping Game 7 triumph.
The final seconds of the game were already dramatic enough thanks to Jimmy Butler tying the deciding clash up with just 4.2 seconds left on the back of a missed Toronto free throw and a cold-as-ice fast break.
Jimmy ties it up with 4.2 seconds left!
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 13, 2019
But it was Leonard, ball in hand, who called series on the whole dang thing with a very last-second shot that took around five hours to drop, with the entire packed arena left on agonising tenterhooks for what felt like an eternity.
KAWHI FOR THE WIN
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 13, 2019
Holy shit. HOLY SHIT.
It wasn’t just in the arena where people lost their minds either. Outside on the streets of Toronto, it was absolute bedlam.
KAWHI. AT THE BUZZER. TORONTO GOES WILD. pic.twitter.com/jXsFVcrCpl
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) May 13, 2019
There’s no point editorialising anymore. Let’s just check Twitter for the dang jokes already.
Brett Brown before and after Kawhi's shot pic.twitter.com/BPUMQhgukh
— Justin Phan (@jphanned) May 13, 2019
The most emotion Kawhi has ever shown and it's very necessary after that shot pic.twitter.com/U8q1ww2129
— Jasmine (@JasmineLWatkins) May 13, 2019
Kawhi after hitting that game winner pic.twitter.com/Jnh2id3zVB
— LifeCrazy (@LlvingLife_) May 13, 2019
Kawhi after hitting that game winner pic.twitter.com/B1osU2xwGA
— Gianni (@Gianni2225) May 13, 2019
“Kawhi ain’t clutch like Kobe!”
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) May 13, 2019
Kawhi signing the max pic.twitter.com/9Ug0NnUloe
— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) May 13, 2019
— Jeopardy! Sports (@JeopardySports) May 13, 2019
Lillard vs. Kawhi
Which shot was better? pic.twitter.com/7IaocNz2oR
— Full Court Prez (@fullcourtprez) May 13, 2019
As for Philly fans, this from our good friend Michael Beveridge just about sums it all up.
no nonono no no no no. how. no. no. how.
nono no no no no… how. how. no.
— Michael Beveridge (@mickyb273) May 13, 2019
Sorry Micky. Had to do it to you.
All hail Kawhi Leonard. The one true King in the North.
Kawhi is the true King in the North after beating Philly. pic.twitter.com/NBK0Kut1vP
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) May 13, 2019
The Raptors are now set to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals in what’s set to be one hell of a matchup.
In the west, the Golden State Warriors will now take on the Portland Trail Blazers, following the Blazers’ similarly dramatic game 7 win against Denver earlier this morning.
Playoff basketball. It’s a hell of a thing, folks.Image: Getty Images / Rick Madonik