Kawhi Leonard nailed a game-winner over Joel Embiid with time expiring, scoring 15 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Raptors to their second conference finals appearance in franchise history. Leonard scored 10 straight points for the Raptors late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
The Raptors will now take on the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Here are a few takeaways from Game 7:
Kawhi is a cold-blooded killer
The bottom line is, the Raptors are advancing to the Eastern Conference finals because of Kawhi Leonard. No disrespect to DeMar DeRozan, but there is no way this squad gets past the Sixers in this second-round series with him instead of Kawhi.
Leonard scored 15 of his game-high 41 points in the fourth quarter, including 13 of the Raptors' final 15 points. During a five-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter, Leonard was the only Raptor to score, leading them to an 87-85 lead in the process.
That's not even mentioning the fact that he hit the game-winning fadeaway shot from the baseline with time expiring over Embiid, when everybody knew he was going to take the last shot.
This happened not long after Leonard missed his second free throw with 10.8 seconds remaining in the game, which directly led to Butler converting on a layup to tie things at 90-all with 4.2 seconds remaining.
In other words, Leonard rebounded from a costly free throw and drained the game-winner with everything on the line to send the Raptors to the conference finals.
That’s the first game-winning buzzer-beater in a Game 7 in NBA history.— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) May 13, 2019
It’s the 2nd one in a winner-take-all game alongside Jordan’s “The Shot”
That's the definition of clutch.
Sixers' offense was ugly
As most of you should be aware by now with the Sixers, there are games where they look great....and there are games where you wonder how they were still alive in the playoffs.
This was one of those games where you thought the latter. While Philadelphia was neck-and-neck all throughout Game 7, it was because of a stingy defensive effort. However, their offense was absolutely dreadful and their execution was terrible towards the end. In the last 2:51 of the game -- when the matchup was officially decided -- they turned the ball over on a bad pass, turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation and made one field goal.
To give you a further understanding of how bad the Sixers' offensive execution actually was late in the fourth quarter, they scored five points and one field goal in the last 5:47 of the game.
The Philadelphia 76ers can only blame themselves for losing to the Raptors due to poor execution on offense in the last 3 minutes.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 13, 2019
Joel Embiid didn't post up -- or step up, for that matter -- Ben Simmons was invisible and Butler was the only Sixer to actually attempt to take over at the end of Game 7.
While Leonard's clutch shot and fourth quarter heroics will dominate headlines, the Sixers' ugly offense was just as much to blame.
Raptors supporting cast did nothing
When I said earlier that Kawhi is the reason why the Raptors advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, that was not an understatement. He literally took over the game and did everything for them on offense in the fourth quarter.
Despite all of the Sixers' offensive struggles, they had all five starters score in double figures. In other words, guys were willing to take shots and at least try to leave their imprint on offense.
On the other side of the equation, the Raptors' supporting core was absolutely putrid -- and it almost looked as if guys were scared to take shots. While Serge Ibaka certainly came up big off of the bench with his 17-point and 8-rebound effort, Kyle Lowry was downright bad again and Pascal Siakam was horribly off.
In continuing his trend of being worse than mediocre in the playoffs, Lowry converted on just 4-of-13 shots and 1-of-7 from 3-point range for a total of 10 points. Meanwhile, Siakam -- who has been the team's second-best player in the playoffs -- scored just 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field.
Collectively, the rest of the Raptors' roster scored just 51 points on 18-of-50 from the field (36.0 percent) and 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from 3-point range outside of Kawhi.
While Leonard's dominance was enough to carry them past the Sixers, it won't be enough to defeat the No. 1-seeded Bucks. The supporting cast has to step up.