The Toronto Raptors will challenge the Golden State Warriors for the NBA crown after reaching the finals for the first time.
Scenes of jubilation broke out at the Scotiabank Arena on Saturday night after Kawhi Leonard led the home side to a 100-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in the final minute, sealing their position as Eastern Conference winners.
Music superstar Drake was seen among the bench players and coaching staff who celebrated before the clock had completely run down, although Leonard’s efforts had lifted Toronto into safety.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 26, 2019
The Raptors forward racked up 27 points with 17 rebounds as Toronto took the playoff finals series 4-2.
It had not been plain-sailing on the night for the hosts, who found themselves 15 behind in the third.
But a 10-0 run cut the gap down to 76-71 by the break and a further 8-2 burst tied it up.
Pascal Siakam put the Raptors in the lead, the score 80-78, and Toronto remained in front.
Along with Siakam’s 18 points, Kyle Lowry had 17 and Fred VanVleet 14 for the Raptors.
For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds, while Brook Lopez added 18 and Khris Middleton 14.
Golden State earlier beat the Portland Trail Blazers to reach the NBA finals, which will begin on Thursday.