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Playoffs 2019

NBA Playoffs 2019: After seven seasons in Toronto, Finals bound Kyle Lowry savouring the moment: 'It means a lot'

The Toronto Raptors advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in their 24-year existence, with their rabid fanbase rejoicing in celebration throughout the city.

MORE: Finals berth erases years of heartbreak for Toronto fans | NBA players react to Raptors advancing to Finals

In recent years, the Raptors have developed into one of the Eastern Conference's premier teams, however playoff success has eluded them, thanks largely to running into LeBron James every season.

Point guard Kyle Lowry has been a central figure to their success in recent years, and after the disappointment of years gone by, Lowry will now play in the NBA Finals for the first time in his career, embracing the tough journey to reach this point.

"It means a lot," Lowry said post-game when asked what the win meant to him.

"It's taken a long time to get here in my career, 13 years, seven years here. I ran into one guy for a while [LeBron James], and we were given an opportunity [when] he left. We beat a really good team in Milwaukee. For me I'm savouring the moment, but I'm not satisfied.

"Our goal is to win an NBA championship and we're just going to keep getting better and plugging away."

While Lowry is the heartbeat of the Raptors group, Kawhi Leonard has been the driving force throughout the playoffs, and Game 6 was no different as he poured in 27 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists.

Lowry praised his teammate's late-game composure as the Raptors held on for another hard-fought win in the series, 100-94.

"I think the one thing about Kawhi is he literally stays level-headed all the time, he never gives up, he never gets down," Lowry added

"He showed some emotion after Game 7 against the 76ers but I think him and Danny [Green] brought that championship pedigree here and just kind of staying level-headed and even-keeled and then you got Marc Gasol comes in, another veteran that's been in the league a long time and we just had a bunch of guys this whole season, we've played through injuries, played through this and that.

"This year, Kawhi coming off the year he had last year, we did a good job of his load management, the staff did a great job of that, but we just played hard and stayed the course. Nick Nurse did a good job setting the tone early in the year and you knew we were working for April, May and June, and now we'll start June now."

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