Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry wanted to be completely honest and open with the reporters following Game 6 against the Boston Celtics as he couldn't be happier with the clutchness of Norman Powell. With 11 seconds to go in the overtime, Lowry hit a three-pointer to put the Raptors up by four but Celtics forward Jayson Tatum hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to one.
With five seconds to go in the overtime, the Celtics fouled Powell, who then hit both of his free throws to ice the game and help the Raptors win 125-122. Lowry scored a game-high 33 points, while Powell added 23 points off the bench.
"Can I say what I really want to say?," Lowry asked, per ESPN. "F---, that was great. Thank you, Norm. That was f---ing unbelievable. S---. That was cool. We needed that." The Celtics led 2-0 after the opening two games of the series, then won Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead, but the series is now tied at three games apiece and Game 7 will decide who progress into the Eastern Conference Finals.
"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 ... "Long game, longer than we all would have asked for, but time to get some rest and go back at it again."
VanVleet joins Lowry in praising Powell
"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 Celtics led in both overtimes but the Raptors kept their focus and ended up forcing Game 7. "I think the games that we've won [in this series] has shown we have to put together a full 48-minute effort," Powell said.
"Have no lulls, offensively or defensively. Whatever happens through mistakes and moments where we do mess up whatever the game plan is, we continue to fight through it and figure it out and help one another."