NBA playoffs: Joel Embiid hits buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Raptors in OT
The Philadelphia 76ers are on the verge of a first-round sweep, and all it took was a buzzer-beater from an MVP candidate.
Joel Embiid put the Toronto Raptors away in Game 3 on Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena with a clutch turnaround, final-second 3-pointer in overtime to give the Sixers the 104-101 win.
The 76ers now hold a 3-0 lead in the series, and have a chance to finish it off Saturday in Game 4.
Embiid drilled his final shot after catching an inbounds pass on the wing with the score tied at 101 with 2.6 seconds left on the clock.
JOEL EMBIID ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!! pic.twitter.com/4Uh2sv0d2E
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 21, 2022
Embiid finished the night with 33 points while shooting 12-of-20 from the field with 13 rebounds, another strong performance in a series in which he is averaging 27.7 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Naturally, Embiid couldn't help but bully Canadian rapper and Raptors superfan Drake a bit on his way off the court, too.
"I'm coming for the sweep too." 👀
Joel Embiid made sure to find Drake after Game 3 in Toronto 🤣
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) April 21, 2022
He may not have had a chance at a real game-winner had it not been for a persistent effort from Sixers head coach Doc Rivers. On the Sixers' first chance at a game-winner, a loose ball ended with Embiid stuck in the corner and throwing up a prayer and needing some help, which came in the form of Rivers running down the court to get the officials' attention.
For a second, the Toronto crowd thought its team had forced double overtime, but the Sixers instead had 2.6 seconds to inbound the ball and score, just enough for Embiid.
Doc running down the court to call timeout 😂 pic.twitter.com/JuMWdXipXY
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 21, 2022
That ending is a gut punch for a Raptors team that seemed well on its way to getting some ground back in this series. Toronto led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter and held the lead for almost the entire game.
The Raptors' chances seemed good entering overtime as well after Sixers star James Harden fouled out at the end of overtime, but Embiid and Tyrese Maxey made every Sixers bucket to cover his absence. Harden finished with 19 points, 10 assists and six rebounds on 7-of-13 shooting.
Should the Sixers win Saturday, they will face the winner of the series between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks. Miami currently leads the series 2-0.
Related video from Yahoo Sports: