“Heart of a Champion”: Magic Johnson and the NBA Community Go Crazy After Raptors’ OG Anunoby Makes a Wild Buzzer Beater

Published 09/03/2020, 10:25 PM EDT

The Toronto Raptors were down 2-0 when they came into tonight’s game. The reigning champions displayed a sub-par three-point performance as a unit, but Game 3 was different. This crucial, possibly season-saving game-winner came through with a three-pointer at the buzzer from 23-year-old OG Anunoby.


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Game 3 proved to be so entertaining from a lot of aspects. The Celtics purely dominated, but we saw a determined Raptors team unwilling to give up at any cost. Their efforts collectively boosted the team, and the result bounced in their favor. 


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With the score at 101-103 in favor of Boston, the challenge fell on the Raptors who had the chance to win the game with 0.5 seconds left. They had to inbound the ball, find a free man, and score to make the series 2-1. 

But the task was no easy one. Kyle Lowry walked to the sideline to inbound the ball, when Celtics’ Brad Stevens made a quick change. He brought in 7’5” Tacko Fall to restrict Lowry from making the pass. When Fall walked in, it looked like a mismatch. 

A six-foot guard trying to feed the ball, with a seven and a half foot athlete trying to stop him. How difficult can the scenario get? Astonishingly, Lowry found a way through Tacko’s defense and found OG Anunoby, who was waiting on the wing, unguarded. 

The youngster made a spectacular game-winning shot for the Raptors, to bring up their first win of the series. A beautiful shot indeed, to secure victory and avoid going down 3-0 and face huge pressure in Game 4. 

Magic Johnson and several others react to OG Anunoby’s game-winner for the Raptors

Magic Johnson could not believe his eyes when he saw OG drain the buzzer-beating three to seal the game. He expressed his excitement on twitter, watching the game going down right to the wire. After OG made the off-balanced difficult three, Magic simply tweeted, “WOW.”

Furthermore, the Lakers icon lauded Anunoby for stepping up when it mattered, and showcased his support for the Raptors forward. “GREAT shot by Anunoby!!! Toronto won at the buzzer on a 3 pointer from OG Anunoby. The heart of a champion came out tonight!!” Johnson wrote. 

The Hall of Famer also made a huge statement about this year’s Playoffs, by calling it the best he’s “witnessed in over 10-15 years.” Magic cheerfully pointed out the intensity of the recent games and how they’ve proved to be a treat to watch. 

Besides, Magic, several current NBA stars reacted to the shot, going crazy how OG made the crucial 3-pointer with just .5 seconds left in the game. Lakers’ Danny Green gave a shoutout to OG for his brilliance, and likewise, Pacers’ Victor Oladipo praised his colleague for making the shot.

CJ McCollum, Donovan Mitchell, and Meyers Leonard, too, put forth their reactions to OG’s game-winner. “Crazy he got the shot off with .5 seconds and Kyle made a pass over an ultra footer. Wild wild wild wild game,” Blazers’ McCollum wrote.

Celtics’ Marcus Smart predicted the game-winner? 

When Brad Stevens made the clever move of bringing Tacko Fall in to guard inbounder Kyle Lowry, it seemed as though the Celtics had called the game. It looked impossible for Lowry to find the speed and accuracy, with Tacko’s hands stretching like the wing-span of an albatross. Even Magic Johnson wants to know how Lowry pulled off the masterful pass that decided the game! 

Moreover, OG Anunoby was left unguarded in the left-wing, which prompted Lowry to make the pass to him. The Celtics players were heavily guarding Siakm and VanVleet, who were the obvious targets to take the shot. 

Lowry even said it himself in the immediate post-game reaction that since these two players were locked down, it pushed him to make the pass to Anunoby, who has already earned the complete trust of his teammates. As OG was left free on the wing, Celtics’ Marcus Smart pointed towards him, urging one of his teammates to attend him. 


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This is certainly an iconic moment, as Smart can be seen predicting an amazing event, just before it happened. He tried to stop it, but it went in vain as his teammates were too late in attending the free shooter. 


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This nail-biting ending to the game drastically raises our expectations for the next game! How good can it get? Game 4 is a high-pressure game for both teams, considering the momentum up for grabs for either.  


Arjun Athreya

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Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.