Philadelphia 76ers

NBA Playoffs 2019: Kawhi Leonard's Game 7 game-winner leaves Joel Embiid in tears

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Joel Embiid [NBA Getty Images]

It was a long series - and playoffs in general - for Sixers All-Star centre Joel Embiid.

He played through a knee injury and different illnesses, leaving it all on the floor to come up just short off of a few wrong bounces of the basketball.

Embiid switched on to Kawhi Leonard on his last-second game-winner in Game 7.

As an elite defensive player, he was an All-Defence Second Team selection last season and will surely receive some votes for this season's Defensive Player of the Year.

In this scenario, Embiid timed his jump perfectly to contest the shot and his outstretched arm provided little-to-no space for Leonard to convert the attempt.

Somehow, some way, Leonard got the shot to fall, crushing Embiid and the 76ers' hopes to advance to their first Conference Finals since 2001 when the Sixers defeated the Raptors in Game 7.

MORE: Comparing Kawhi's game-winner to Carter's miss vs. the 76ers in 2001

Embiid was visibly distraught over the outcome as his emotions moved him to tears in the middle of the Raptors' celebration. The Sixers big man had every right to let his emotions go, playing as hard as he could, fighting through various different ailments, only to come up just short.

In mutual respect for how hard these teams fought, Raptors' centre Marc Gasol was the first to console Philly's centre.

And his emotions continued after he left the court, but head coach Brett Brown believes Embiid will use this as a learning experience and that it will only make him better in the future.

Embiid finished the contest with 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks, playing in 45 of the 48 minutes in the game.

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