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How Nick Nurse rallied the Raptors after going down 3-0 to Sixers

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When talking to the media after Wednesday’s practice, head coach Nick Nurse broke down his message to the Raptors after going down 3-0 to the Sixers.

No team in NBA history has come back to win a seven-game playoff series after trailing 3-0, but when the Raptors found themselves in that daunting position after a Game 3 loss on April 20, head coach Nick Nurse remained confident in his team’s chances.

Nurse’s stolidness stemmed from his one-game-at-a-time mentality, which has carried over to the team’s recent resurgence, as they now trail the series 3-2.

“Like I said when it was 3-0, we just got to get one here,” Nurse explained after Wednesday’s practice. “Right, now we still just need one.

"We just knew that getting one could get us back in this thing and get us a chance to keep it going. Everybody was disappointed about the 3-0 start and it felt a little heavy for a while, but not long a while. When we finally got back to the film room the next day, I liked the body language; I liked what I was hearing communication-wise. We were ready to go.”

Nick Nurse knew exactly what to say to rally his troops. (Getty)
Nick Nurse knew exactly what to say to rally his troops. (Getty)

Despite losing Game 1 by 20 and Game 2 by 15, the former Coach of the Year believes that being plagued by injuries played a pivotal role in those early-series struggles.

“I can’t totally discount games 1 and 2 but, again, we were just out of sorts and out of sink because of all the injuries that hit us at the last second. I think we couldn’t quite manage that at the moment but I felt really good about the way we’ve played the last three games.”

The Raptors are the first team since the Bulls in 2015 to win two straight games after trailing a series 3-0 and will attempt to be only the fourth team in league history to force a Game 7 from that position on Thursday night.

When asked about his team’s chances of making history by overcoming the impossible, Nurse, with a smirk of confidence, said, “if somebody could do it, it’d be us.”

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