Then it bounced once, twice, three, then four times and finally fell.
"It's basically a game where only one team is going to make it out", he said.
Lillard was reminded after the game that he's never played in a Game 7 in his career. Nuggets outscored the Blazers by close to 30 for the rest of the game after that moment. "If I've got to play 45 minutes and push myself out there, that's what I'll do". After the game, Jokic took a moment to recognize his former teammate. "This game it's just working as hard as you can, leave it all out there".
You already knew about Damian Lillard, the NBA's most underappreciated superstar, who hit a walk-off, series-winning buzzer-beater of his own in Round 1. "Now we go home and have the best home-court advantage in the National Basketball Association".
The issue, of course, is that bookmakers certainly know this trend, and they adjust the spread accordingly. Neither team can expect to shut the other's star down, but the extent to which they can limit the damage they do will go a long way. Antetokounmpo and company simply took over the series after the loss, and look to carry that momentum into the semifinals.
Because sports fans love to debate nearly anything, I noticed several posts that were discussing whether Kawai's huge shot to lift the Raptors on Sunday might now be the biggest moment in Toronto sports history.
Nurse had zero interest in entertaining that possibility on Saturday.
"It's been a tough couple of years for me, even going back to Missouri", Porter Jr. said. "Talk about that later", the coach said.
It truly has to be seen to be believed. "I think mostly it's who brings the energy on the floor".
There are a couple key areas to clean up.
"We had a body of work where we were the best shooting team in the league, from the Marc Gasol trade on, so it's not like I'm pie-in-the-skying it here". Embiid, playing in garbage time because he has no reliable backup, has three flagrant fouls in the postseason.
Danny Green led the way shooting a career-best 46 per cent from three in the regular season. Scoring isn't the only aspect of Lowry's game, but he needs to score more than the 6.3 points per game he did in the regular season meetings for the Raptors to have a chance.
"He's a phenomenal shooter", Nurse said.
Leonard had arguably his worst game of the series in Thursday's loss. Do not sleep on Golden State without Durant, though. "That's where we are".
Leonard came to the Toronto Raptors with a loaded resume and a well-earned reputation as one of the best in the game. Well, this season they went all in on that plan and developed one of the most potent 3-point attacks in the league, firing up almost 40 3s per game in the regular season.
The mystery of Joel Embiid adds at least one more chapter in this postseason. Nurse was asked: If he plays 40 or more on Sunday, what then?
Durant went on to advise McCollum to "just keep playing and don't worry about what goes on at the top of things". I like Jokic and the Nuggets to continue their stellar play and get it done tonight.
The Raptors are well aware of the challenge ahead. Their veteran roster might be one reason. He called Sunday another learning opportunity. "Sometimes you have to force yourself to get away from it". And I was saying after we should have sent someone at him. When we were down 2-1 (to Philly), I liked how we responded to that as well. As to whether Kyle Lowry can be relied upon for a huge game or not, remains in the air. "You don't have time to be nervous". The Sixers really stuck tight to its starting unit, with only Mike Scott and James Ennis III seeing much time for the reserves. Dame went insane - in the most down-to-earth, stoic way possible - to close out the first round against the trash-talking Thunder. They will open the conference finals Wednesday night at Milwaukee. He spoke for the team in that it's got greater goals in mind.
Thanks to Stephen Curry's second-half heroics, we'll have to settle for just two Game 7s to decide who makes this year's conference finals.