Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater sends Toronto Raptors into Eastern Conference finals

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Kawhi Leonard reacts with teammates after making the game-winning shot (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Kawhi Leonard hit a buzzer-beating two-pointer to lift the Toronto Raptors into the Eastern Conference finals and eliminate the Philadelphia 76ers in a down-to-the-wire game seven.

The Raptors advanced to the finals for the second time in four seasons when Leonard’s last-gasp effort from the corner bounced off the rim four times before falling into the basket to euphoric celebrations from the crowd and his team-mates.

Jimmy Butler – who finished with 16 points – had levelled the game with 4.2 seconds remaining but was left broken-hearted as Leonard’s game-winning shot earned the Raptors a 92-90 win and 4-3 series victory.

Leonard finished with a total of 41 points, while Joel Embiid top-scored for the 76ers with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Toronto’s best-of-seven finals series will start on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

In the night’s other game, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets 100-96 to advance to the Western Conference finals.

CJ McCollum scored 37 points as the Trail Blazers rallied from 17 points down to clinch the semi-final series 4-3 and book their place in the finals for the first time in 19 years.

Portland will now face defending champions the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

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