Amir Johnson's game-winning putback vs. Celtics clinches playoff spot for Raptors
Amir Johnson hit a game-winning putback with 7.1 seconds left to lift Toronto to a 105-103 home victory over Boston on Friday.
With less than 20 seconds remaining in the game and the score tied at 103, Kyle Lowry milked the clock down near midcourt. Johnson then came to set a high screen with roughly 12 seconds left, and Lowry used the pick to split the defense and attack the paint for a right-handed runner. The off-balance shot was a bit wild, but Johnson did well to crash the glass, positioning himself perfectly near the right block to grab the carom off the rim.
Rather than come down with possession, Johnson elected to put the ball back up immediately with both hands. His try banked in cleanly, giving Toronto a two-point lead. A Jared Sullinger three-point try on the other end was no good and the Raptors held on for the victory.
"My grandmother called and she said she's proud," Johnson said afterwards, according to the Associated Press.
The win pushed the Raptors to 41-31 on the season and clinched their first trip to the playoffs since 2008.
"It's a satisfying, kind of overwhelming feeling," Johnson continued. "But at the same time, you know you've still got a lot more to accomplish."
Johnson finished with eight points (on 4-for-8 shooting), eight rebounds and two blocks. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with a game-high 30 points (on 12-for-27 shooting), four assists and three rebounds.
Jerryd Bayless paced the Celtics with a team-high 20 points (on 8-for-13 shooting) and three assists. Jeff Green added 16 points (on 7-for-14 shooting), four rebounds and two assists in a losing effort. Boston fell to 23-49 with the loss.