There are 4.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter of Game 7, knotted up at 90 and the Raptors have a chance at the last shot of the game. Marc Gasol inbounds the ball to Kawhi Leonard to make some space. Leonard goes wide and down to the baseline. With Embiid hot on his trail and no time left on the clock, Leonard puts up a shot just as the buzzer goes off. The shot comes in high, the ball bounces off the rim and Scotiabank Arena goes completely silent. The ball bounces off the rim again. Kawhi squats down as he watches the ball bounce off the rim two more times, and goes in. The whole city erupts with electricity as history is made - Kawhi Leonard has officially sent the Raptors to the Eastern Conference finals.
Everyone knows that Leonard is not one for showing emotion and can be a very difficult person to read. But his face after his game-winning shot says it all. Leonard gave a triumphant war cry at the top of his lungs as his teammates surrounded him, hugging and celebrating with the hero.
In the press conference afterwards, Leonard spoke to the emotions he felt on the court. "I'm a guy that acts like I've been there before. So probably the last time you've seen me scream was when we won," said Leonard, referring to when he won his championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.
"So whenever it's like a moment where I haven't really experienced, I'll probably try to give some emotion, show some emotion, and let it just come out. Tonight was one of those nights," he continued. One of those nights, indeed. No player in NBA history has ever hit a winning Game 7 buzzer beater until Kawhi Leonard did it last night, and there have been 135 Game 7's.
Leonard then shared his love for the Raptors fans and the important role they played in the win last night. "It was great you know we needed them tonight, you know when we got leads they screamed defence, they were screaming the whole time. It was amazing you know, when guys were shooting free throws they're screaming as loud as they can, it was a fun experience you know."
The love didn't stop there. "They've been great all year we needed them and you know, that's what we fought for all year, is getting that game 7 at home if we get to that point and tonight they were big for us," Leonard added.
If there's one thing Kawhi Leonard has learned about the 6ix this season, it's that Toronto fans go all out for their teams. It's safe to say he has won the hearts of every Raptors fan out there this year. See his full post-game press conference statement here: