At the end of the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's Game 6, Pascal Siakam took the final two shots for the Raptors. He missed both, and the tight contest went to overtime.
At the end of the first overtime period, Norman Powell missed a pull-up 3-pointer on a stagnant isolation play, and the battle continued.
Finally, near the conclusion of the second overtime stanza, the ball found its way into the right man's hands. Kyle Lowry took the ball with less than 20 seconds on the clock, backed down Celtics guard Kemba Walker inside the 3-point line and then lofted a fadeaway jumper over Walker's outstretched arm. Swish.
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That shot gave Toronto a four-point lead with 11.7 seconds left and provided enough of a cushion for the Raptors to hold on and force a winner-take-all Game 7 in the second round against Boston. The 125-122 victory was not only a testament to the Raptors' championship mettle, but also a shining example of why Lowry is the greatest player in franchise history and a future Hall of Famer.
In 53 minutes, Lowry scored a game-high 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists. It was a complete Lowry masterpiece: the timely buckets, smart passes, defensive stands on bigger players and, yes, the theatrics.
While Lowry did some heavy lifting, as is typically the case with these Raptors, it was a team effort. OG Anunoby contributed 13 points and 13 rebounds. Fred VanVleet put up a 21-9-7 line. Powell scored 23 points off the bench, including 10 in the second overtime period. Four of Toronto's five starters logged 50 or more minutes.
"We go out there and play every possession like it's our last and find ways to pull out victories," Lowry told reporters during his postgame availability.
Still, Game 6 was about Lowry refusing to lose.
It wasn't that long ago the Raptors were known for playoff failures with Lowry and DeMar DeRozan receiving the brunt of the criticism. Kawhi Leonard obviously helped change that perception, but don't forget it was Lowry who came out in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and lit a fire under the eventual champs, capping off an impressive individual run.
Now the expectation is Lowry finding a way to leave his imprint on the game. Sometimes it's his scoring. Sometimes it's a hustle play. And sometimes it's knowing when to let a teammate get into a rhythm.
"Just go and win," Lowry told ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth. "It don't matter how you get it done, no matter who has to do it."
It took the Raptors a few tries in Game 6, but they eventually landed on the guy who knows how to get it done.