Game Preview: Raptors vs. Heat
Miami Heat (30-26) @ Toronto Raptors (39-16)
When: Tuesday, February 13th, 7 P.M. ET
Where: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast info: SN1, SN590
The Heat defeated Toronto 90-89 thanks to a Wayne Ellington layup with less than a second remaining in the last meeting between these two teams. The Miami victory, coming on the Air Canada Centre court, snapped a 12-game home winning streak for Toronto. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 25 points as the Raptors were without Kyle Lowry, who missed the game with a bruised tailbone. The team also lost Serge Ibaka midway though when he was ejected, along with Miami's James Johnson, for trading punches in the third quarter. Though neither team lit it up from the floor, the Heat dominated the glass, outrebounding Toronto 64-37, including 20-7 on the offensive glass. Miami's Goran Dragic scored 25 points, while also matching a career-high with 12 rebounds.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: Toronto rookie OG Anunoby is questionable with a right ankle sprain. For the Heat, the injury list is to be decided.
300 Club: Sunday's 123-103 victory against the Charlotte Hornets gave Dwane Casey 300 victories as head coach of the Toronto Raptors. Casey becomes the first coach in franchise history to hit the milestone and after the game, DeMar DeRozan, who has been with Casey since his first game coaching Toronto, made sure to grab the game ball to present to Casey in the locker room.
Taking care of business: The Raptors have won five straight games, with an average margin of victory of 21 points. In the process, no Raptors starter has played more than 30 minutes in any of the previous four games, and OG Anunoby is the only starter to play a single minute in the fourth quarter, logging 5:48 minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb 2.
Heading into All-Star like: Tuesday's game against the Miami Heat will be the first game in a back-to-back that will conclude with Toronto taking on the Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday. That will be the final game the team plays before breaking for All-Star weekend. DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Dwane Casey and the Raptors coaching staff will be in Los Angeles representing the organization for the All-Star Game.
Boost off the bench: Toronto's stellar bench has not only held leads, but blown the game open over the previous five games. The reserves are averaging 56.0 points per game in that span. In Sunday's game, it was C.J. Miles leading the bench mob. Miles played 18 minutes against the Hornets, making the most of each of them, scoring 24 points on 8-of-11 field goals, including 6-for-9 three-point field goals and 2-for-2 free throws, while adding a rebound, an assist, two steals and a blocked shot. The Raptors were a +28 with Miles on the floor.
New-old look Heat: Miami comes to town with a familiar face back in a Heat uniform. Following a season in Chicago and half a season in Cleveland, Dwyane Wade is back in Miami. Thanks to a deadline deal, Wade returned to the team that drafted him 15 years ago, and he couldn't be happier about it. Toronto has already faced Wade once this season, during his time with the Cavaliers.