Joel Embiid’s game-winner parallels Kawhi Leonard’s playoff heartbreaker

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Joel Embiid knows what it’s like to be losing on the side of a go-ahead 3-pointer in the NBA playoffs, but that wasn’t the case on Wednesday night.

The Philadelphia 76ers star splashed a turnaround three with under one second remaining in overtime to secure a 104-101 win against the Toronto Raptors.

When asked where the game-winner ranks among the biggest shots in his career, Embiid had a simple answer:

“Obviously that’s the best one.”

Philly is just one win away from sweeping the series, but it wasn’t too long ago when they were on the opposing end of a buzzer-beating three at Scotiabank Arena.

Kawhi Leonard may be far removed from the Raptors, but his last-second three in Game 7 of the 2019 Eastern Conference semifinals is one of the most memorable playoff shots of all time.

With less than one second remaining, Leonard heaved a corner three that fell through the net after four fortuitous bounces and ended the Sixers playoff run.

As history would have it, Leonard was being guarded by none other than 2022 NBA MVP finalist Joel Embiid.

Toronto went on to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals, then downed the defending champion Golden State Warriors en route to the franchise’s first championship. Leonard was also named Finals MVP.

The 76ers playoff run is still in progress, but if this moment serves as a mirror of their 2019 run-in with the Raptors, then the cards appear to be in their favor.

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