National Basketball Association playoff wrap 2019: 76ers, Trail Blazers force Game 7s

Kawhi Leonard bounced in the game-winning shot at the buzzer as the Toronto Raptors advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with a 92-90 win over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers in a heart-stopping game seven on Sunday.

In Portland, the Trail Blazers took down the Denver Nuggets 119-108 to even the Western Conference series 3-3 and set up a Game 7 in Denver on Sunday.

The Blazers are headed to their first conference finals since 2000. "I expect them to respond tomorrow". "They're special. They are a life lesson, a life opportunity". Check. Winning two Game 4s on the road while down 2-1 in a series? Rodney Hood also came up big with his much-important 25 points off the bench, while Zach Collins imposed his presence down low, steadying the Blazers with his outstanding defensive performance of 5 total blocks.

Public betting, however, seems to lean ever so slightly towards the Portland Trail Blazers.

For all the insane things that can happen in a Game 7, the goal is still simply to put the ball in the basket.

Damian Lillard leads the way for the Trailblazers with 29.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. He says it's imperative to bring more energy Sunday - and adds there's no reason to get nervous. "They look at me as their best player", Jokic said postgame. Why would I be nervous right now?. You're the one who's playing. Torrey played good defense, as good a defense you can play 1-on-1. "It can't be just all the time, you have to find ways to have balance in your life".

Having said that, there are still plenty of elements to take into account for those interested in projecting ahead while watching Game 7 play out. The home team is historically the more reliable bet in Game 7, making the Raptors the safest pick to win the series. He will be needed tonight for the Trail Blazers to win. The Nuggets are shooting 44 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range.

NEED TO KNOW: A series that had a four-overtime game is going to go the distance, and that's fitting. Denver's two top scorers, Jokic and Jamal Murray, have combined for 309.

Butler, disgruntled in Minnesota before he was traded to Philadelphia in November, scored 19 points in the half and all of them seemed worthy of the highlight reel. It still would have been historic, the first Game 7 buzzer-beater in National Basketball Association history.

The 76ers have gone 20-21 away from home. They can't expect to do that again and beat the Blazers.

Western Conference: No. 2 Denver Nuggets vs. Being on the road may actually keep Portland somewhat loose.

The Raptors were tied against the Philadelphia 76ers with mere seconds left in regular time of game seven. With 12 seconds to play, Joel Embiid made two free throws to trim the lead to one, 89-88. Denver's second-round series has played out in extremely similar fashion to the first-round series against San Antonio.

Maurice Harkless dunked to start the game and the crowd at the Moda Center booed each time Jokic got the ball.

There are two-way players in Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, deep threats with size in Brook Lopez, despite his 0-for-7 shooting from distance in Milwaukee's close-out game against Boston, Mirotic and Ersan Ilyasova, who was a great waiver signing by Philly a year ago.

South Korea's Sung Kang elevated his game on the back nine to claim his first career PGA Tour victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas with a comfortable two-stroke win on Sunday.

  • Julie Sanders