Following OG Anunoby’s Game 3 heroics against the Boston Celtics, we take a trip down memory lane with the top five shots in Toronto Raptors history.
OG Anunoby‘s stunning winning shot in Game 3 versus the Boston Celtics is one that Toronto Raptors fans will remember for a long time. Inspired by this, here is a countdown of the top five shots in franchise history:
5. Kyle Lowry vs. Miami Heat – May 3, 2016
It might not be the most significant shot on this list, but Kyle Lowry‘s half-court prayer against Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat in the second round of the ’15-16 playoffs is one of the most memorable shots in recent Raptors history.
It might seem hard to fathom now, but this game marked the deepest the Raptors had gone in the playoffs since ’00-01. After first round exits in the two years prior, the Raptors vanquished the Indiana Pacers in seven games to silence those positing that Toronto couldn’t clear that opening playoff hurdle.
Thus, Game 1 against Miami in the second round was supposed to be a celebration. After ridding themselves of their first round bugaboo, the second-seeded Raptors were breathing clean air coming into their matchup with the Heat, who were the third seed but finished eight games back of Toronto.
However, a veteran Heat team that featured Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire and Luol Deng was not going to lay down. The game was a 48-minute grind, with both teams having to earn every bucket.
Down six with 19 second remaining in the fourth, Terrence Ross hit a clutch three for the Raptors to cut the lead in half. Then, after a Heat turnover, Ross drew a foul, and hit one out of two free throws, making the score 89-87 Miami.
Next, the Raptors engaged in Hack-a-Hassan. A career 60 per cent free throw shooter, Hassan Whiteside was a known late game target for bear hugs from the opposition. After missing the first, Whiteside made the second, stretching the Heat lead back to three.
Cory Joseph inbounded the ball to Lowry. In the interest of saving as much time as possible, Lowry didn’t touch the ball until it almost bounced out of bounds. Collecting the ball and gathering himself just in time, he launched a 39-foot heave from his own side of the timeline. And it went in.
Although the Raptors lost the game in overtime, the shot pumped energy into the series, and Toronto would go on to win it in seven games. Although they’d eventually bow out in six to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers that season, this shot will live on as one of the greatest in franchise history.