NBA Wrap: Anunoby sinks buzzer-beater as Raptors stun Celtics, Clippers thump Nuggets

Toronto Raptors stunned Boston Celtics 104-103 on Thursday, while Los Angeles Clippers took a 1-0 lead over Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals.

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Toronto Raptors stunned the Boston Celtics 104-103 in Game 3 of its Eastern Conference semifinal series.   -  Twitter

O. G. Anunoby beat the final buzzer with a 3-pointer off an inbound pass from Kyle Lowry with 0.5 seconds remaining as the Toronto Raptors stunned the Boston Celtics 104-103 in Game 3 of its Eastern Conference semifinal series on Thursday night near Orlando.

Lowry led all scorers with 31 points, Fred VanVleet added 25 and Anunoby had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors bounced back from losing the first two games of the best-of-seven series. Game 4 will take place on Saturday night.

Kemba Walker had 29 points, and Jaylen Brown scored 19 with 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost for the first time in seven playoff games. Boston appeared headed to a 3-0 series lead after Daniel Theis slammed home an emphatic dunk for a 103-101 edge with a half-second to go.

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The Raptors called timeout, and Lowry fired the inbound over 7-foot-5 Tacko Fall to Anunoby, wide open on the far side of the court. Anunoby connected on his shot to complete the comeback win. Toronto was down 101-97 with 1:41 left before Lowry and VanVleet made baskets to knot the score. The Raptors' largest lead of the fourth was 95-91 with 5:57 remaining before an 8-0 Celtics run.

Trailing by 10 to begin the second half, Toronto went ahead for the first time since the opening quarter first when Pascal Siakam hit a 3-pointer for a 68-66 lead with 3:40 left in the third. Boston equalized at 74 on a Walker trey with 1:25 to go. A Brad Wanamaker three-point play with 5.2 ticks left survived a flagrant-foul review, and Boston entered the fourth up 80-76.

The Celtics grabbed the game's first double-digit lead, 47-37, on a Brown jumper with 4:10 to go in the half. VanVleet sank a pair of 3-pointers to get the Raptors within five, but Boston entered the break up 57-47 after Walker nailed a three with 2.7 seconds remaining.

Walker had 21 points at halftime, 17 coming in the first quarter. Brown had 10 points and 10 rebounds before the break. Lowry paced Toronto with 15 first-half points. The Celtics led 33-28 after one quarter.

- Leonard, Clippers in complete control against Nuggets -

Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers rolled past the Denver Nuggets 120-97 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals at the NBA bubble.

Leonard connected on 12 of 16 shots from the floor in 32 minutes, sitting out the fourth quarter. Although his streak of five consecutive games with 32 or more points ended, Leonard has scored at least 29 points in each of the Clippers' seven playoff games. He is averaging 32.3 points per game in the postseason.

Los Angeles Clippers rolled past the Denver Nuggets 120-97 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.   -  Twitter

 

Paul George contributed 19 points and seven rebounds and Marcus Morris Sr. added 18 points, converting 7 of 10 shots and 4 of 5 3-point attempts for the Clippers. Montrezl Harrell had 15 points and Lou Williams scored 10.

Denver's Nikola Jokic had 15 points and Paul Millsap finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Jamal Murray, Jerami Grant and Monte Morris chipped in 12 points apiece for the Nuggets, who had just one day off after clinching their seven-game series on Tuesday against the Utah Jazz.

Game 2 in the second-round series is on Saturday. The Clippers, who led by as much as 29 points, took control in the second quarter and buried the Nuggets in the third quarter. They held a 91-67 lead heading into the final quarter.

After Monte Morris converted a pull-up jumper to tie the score at 36 less than three minutes into the second quarter, the Clippers used a 33-15 surge for a 69-51 advantage at the break. Los Angeles outscored Denver 38-20 in the second quarter. Leonard scored 19 first-half points.

The Clippers made 63.4 percent of their shots compared to 42.9 percent for the Nuggets in the first half. For the game, the Clippers hit 57.1 percent to 42.2 percent for the Nuggets. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley returned to action after missing the previous five games with a strained calf. Beverley had eight points and six rebounds in 12 minutes.

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