The Parade College Writing Workshop – Harshana Kiriwendala: Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers, 2019 NBA Playoff game


By Harshana Kiriwendala


On the 13 of May 2019 it was a nervous day for the Toronto Raptors. It was the first time they had made it to the semi-finals of the NBA Playoffs. The Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers had a 3-3 tie and it was their last game. The Raptors had to win to get into the finals, giving them the chance to win their first-ever championship. I was excited to see who would win, especially because the Raptors have never gone into the finals while, if the 76ers won, it would be the fourth time they had made it into the finals. Before the day of the game, I remember asking my parents if I could stay home and not go school so I could watch with my brother. They knew I would keep asking, so they just said ‘yes’ then and there.


The match was starting very soon, and I had to get all the food ready before it began. The game was on and the first quarter was underway. It was so tense and close throughout the whole first quarter. Both teams remained close the entire game and it was amazing to see how good all the players were. In the first quarter, the Raptors finished off with 18 points altogether and the 76ers were on 13 points. It was so tense – I couldn’t believe that the Raptors were in the lead by five points, especially because I wanted the 76ers to win. This was only because they had my favourite player in Jimmy Butler.


The second quarter was underway, and the score was still so close, I was so nervous through the whole thing – it was intense like crazy! Both teams were going wild trying to stay in the lead, but it stayed back and forth. The Raptors would score points and then the 76ers would. It kept going like that for the entire quarter, except for the end of the quarter when the Raptors were four points ahead into half time. My brother and I were yelling like crazy about a shot that should’ve been called a shooting foul, which would have given the 76ers a three-point opportunity. My mum walked in and had to tell us to keep our voices down.


The third quarter was about to start and I was crazy psyched and excited to see who would win. My brother said that the 76ers would make the best comeback ever, but I said that we would see about that, even though I was going for the 76ers as well. The quarter started and I could tell the Raptors fans were nervous because they didn’t know if they would be able to hold on.  Like all the other quarters, it was so close and tense between the two teams. They were like two predators fighting each other for something. By the end of the quarter, the points were 67 for the Raptors to the 76ers’ 64.


The last quarter began and the Raptors had a 3-point lead, which was very annoying for me and my brother because of our allegiances. The two teams were head to head like a bunch of lions. My mum walked in on us jumping around like psychos and asked us who was winning. We told her it was tied with five seconds left, meaning my mum joined us to watch the last seconds. Kawhi Leonard grabbed the ball and ran around the three point line to take a two point fade away shot over the 76ers’ tallest player in Joel Embiid. Somehow, it went in as the buzzer went, meaning he got the game-winning shot. The crowd and his team go wild. So do we. It’s the first time the Raptors reached the NBA finals.



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  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks for your story Harshana, I enjoyed reading it. Close game but nice the Raptors won, their supporters would have been so pleased to reach the NBA finals for the first time.

  2. Mrs Pritchard says

    What a nail biting game Harshana! I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering who would win too! I am very impressed by your language use, particularly your sport specific language as it was well executed.

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