The defending champs were a half-second away from facing a deficit that no team in NBA history has overcome.
Instead, they’re celebrating and have life again after OG Anunoby hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Raptors a 104-103 win in Game 3 over the Celtics.
Anunoby told reporters after the game that he was confident his shot was going in.
“Yeah, I made some (buzzer-beaters) in high school,” Anunoby said when asked if he knew the shot was going in. “Did I know if it was going in when I released it? Yeah, it felt good.”
Anunoby’s shot wouldn’t have been possible without Kyle Lowry. The 6-foot point guard had to make the pass over 7-foot-5 Tacko Fall, who was guarding Lowry on the inbounds pass. Lowry found the open Anunoby after Anunoby ran from the sideline nearest to him and across the baseline to the other sideline in the corner.
Anonoby made sure to credit Lowry for the assist.
“Oh yeah, Kyle made a great pass,” Anunoby said. “He waited long enough, threw it there, quick enough before they got to me. So, it was a great pass from Kyle.
“It was cool,” Anunoby added of the moment.
Lowry downplayed his pass when speaking to reporters after the game and instead gave all the credit to Anunoby.
“The pass was nothing,” Lowry said. “OG (Anunoby) made the shot. All the credit goes to the shot. This is OG’s moment. That’s a great moment for that kid.”
Lowry knew that he didn’t have much margin for error to complete the pass, but he knew once it got to Anunoby they had a good shot at winning.
“I had to make a precise pass to a heckuva shooter,” Lowry aid. “That’s the type of moment that even keel attitude, stay calm moment. He’s built for that.”
OG Anunoby on hitting the game-winner: “It was cool” pic.twitter.com/d87LxEywCr
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 4, 2020
After the shot went in, everyone on the Raptors charged in joy toward Anunoby. However, Anunoby didn’t have the expression that many have after nailing a game-winning buzzer-beater.
“I expected to make it,” Anunoby said. “I don’t shoot trying to miss. Every shot I shoot I try to make it. I wasn’t going to act surprised, because I wasn’t surprised.”
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said that Anunoby’s reaction to his shot was true to form.
“That was true OG form right there,” VanVleet said, “to knock down the biggest shot of his life and act like nothing happened.”
The Raptors will try to even the series at 2-2 on Saturday.