Game Preview: Raptors vs Heat

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

Toronto Raptors (47-19) @ Miami Heat (31-34)

When: Sunday, March 10th, 3:30 P.M. ET

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena

Leading into tonight’s game:

- Injury report: For the Raptors, Fred VanVleet (left thumb ligament) and Kawhi Leonard (load management) are out. For the Heat, the injury report is clear.

- Back-to-back: Sunday’s matinee matchup against the Heat will be the first in a back-to-back for the Raptors. After facing Miami, the Raptors will head immediately to Cleveland to prepare to take on the Cavaliers at 7 P.M. ET. The Raptors have just one back-to-back remaining after this trip. Their next home game will be Thursday, Mar. 14 when they host the Los Angeles Lakers at 8 P.M. ET.

- Recent history: This is Toronto’s third meeting with the Heat this season, with one more to come at Scotiabank Arena in April. The Raptors are 2-0 against Miami this season, their most recent victory coming in a 106-104 road win on Dec. 26 thanks to a three-pointer from Danny Green with 22.7 seconds remaining. Though the Heat led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, the Raptors came roaring back as Kawhi Leonard had 30 points, Green finished with 18 points and Fred VanVleet added 16 in a back-and-forth fourth quarter. The Heat enter Sunday’s game following a 126-110 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Extra Assists

- Triple-double Lowry: Kyle Lowry posted a 13-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double in Toronto’s 127-104 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. This was Lowry’s second triple-double of the season, the 14th of his career, and 12th as a member of the Toronto Raptors. Lowry now has 12 of the 24 triple-doubles recorded in Raptors history. The five-time All-Star is also second in the league in assists, averaging 9.1, to go along with 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per contest.

- Prime time: Jeremy Lin led all Raptors reserves with 14 points in Friday’s win. He shot 6-for-9 from the floor in 22 minutes, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. It was a welcomed sight for Lin, who signed with the Raptors on Feb. 13, but hadn't connected on a three-pointer in his previous seven games with Toronto. “I felt great,” Lin said after the game. “Just to be able to continue to stay aggressive, the coaches, Nick [Nurse], Nate [Bjorkgren] and Phil [Handy], everybody else [too], have been so empowering and it’s a lot of fun to be able to play and kind of get that monkey off my back a little bit.” Lin is averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game this season.

- Wade County: This is the 16th NBA season for Miami’s Dwyane Wade, who has said he will retire after this season. The three-time NBA champion, Finals MVP, and 13-time All-Star enters Sunday’s game with 989 career points scored against the Raptors. He has currently scored at least 1,000 points against eight different NBA teams. Though Wade has come off the bench for the entirety of this season, he continues to show how he’s earned his immaculate career resume. In a recent win against the Atlanta Hawks, Wade scored 23 points of the bench, including 14 points in the fourth quarter of the game, while also passing Michael Jordan to become the all-time leader for blocks by a guard.

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