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Kyle Lowry clutch, but Norman Powell ‘saved our season,’ Raptors’ Fred VanVleet says

An exhausted Kyle Lowry was down to his final media question of the night.

As he thumbed through his phone Wednesday evening, searching for a picture of the three stitches he received in his chin after taking a midgame elbow by Boston Celtics guard Brad Wanamaker, the Toronto Raptors’ point guard was asked about the game played by teammate Norman Powell.

While his head was still searching for his phone, he quipped, “Can I say what I really want to say?”

“F—, that was great,” Lowry said. “Thank you, Norm. That was f—ing unbelievable. S—. That was cool. We needed that.”

It was Lowry’s shot with 11.7 seconds to go in the second overtime that put Toronto up four and in position to win the game. But after a Jayson Tatum 3-pointer, it was Powell’s free throws with five seconds left that helped to ice the game.nike nfl jersey cheap

Toronto had to deal with a 3-point attempt by Marcus Smart and survive an inbounds pass with 0.7 to go without fouling, but when the buzzer sounded and the Raptors held on for a 125-122 victory, this Eastern Conference semifinal series was headed to Game 7.

“I think everyone came into this series expecting a long series,” Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said. “I don’t think we lived up to that in the first couple of games. We were able to work ourselves back into position to give ourselves a chance and Game 7 to go to the Eastern Conference finals … all you can ask for is a chance, so …1

“Long game, longer than we all would have asked for, but time to get some rest and go back at it again.”

Powell had a chance to finish off the game at the end of the first overtime with an isolation play drawn up just for him. He missed a long 3-point attempt, but he also came out firing in the second overtime to ensure his team took home the victory.

Powell scored 10 points in the second overtime, had a key block on Daniel Theis, hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 1:23 to play and added a steal that turned into an and-1 to put Toronto up four with 38.7 to go.nfl nike jersey cheap

“He saved us. He saved our season,” VanVleet said. “That is his trademark now. You never know when it is going to happen, but it always happens at some point in the playoffs, so he was huge for us. Obviously, Kyle was steady the whole night, but Norm really gave us boost there.”

The play at the end of the first overtime was almost identical to one Toronto coach Nick Nurse drew up for Powell in the first game of the season.

Way back on Oct. 22, 2019, the Raptors opened the season against the New Orleans Pelicans and that game was tied at 117 in the final seconds of regulation. And like he did Wednesday night, Nurse called for Powell to be isolated at the top of the key. Powell didn’t hit the shot, but Toronto still went on to win.