Game Preview: Raptors vs Heat
Miami Heat (38-41) @ Toronto Raptors (56-24)
When: Sunday, April 7th 12 P.M. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, Patrick McCaw (sprained right thumb) is listed as out. For the Heat, Ryan Anderson (personal reasons) and Josh Richardson (left hip strain) are listed as out.
- Streak snapped: Toronto’s five-game winning streak came to a close in Charlotte as the Hornets defeated the Raptors 113-111 on Saturday. Though the Raptors led by as many as 14 in the first half, the Hornets won the third quarter 33-21 to take a four-point lead into the fourth. The Raptors were ahead by one with 15 seconds remaining, but with 3.3 seconds on the clock, for the second time in 12 days, Jeremy Lamb drilled a three-pointer to give the Hornets the lead and the win.
- Recent history: This is the final regular-season meeting between the Raptors and Heat this season. It’s also the final regular-season home game for the Raptors, who will finish out the regular season on the road in Minnesota against the Timberwolves on Tuesday. The Raptors are 3-0 in the season series, most recently earning a 125-104 road win in Miami on Mar. 10 as the team set a franchise record by making 21 three-pointers. While the Raptors are locked into the two-seed in the Eastern Conference, the Heat are a game outside of the eighth spot as the sixth through 10th place teams in the East are all separated by just 2.5 games.
- Double-double: Serge Ibaka had another big game for the Raptors on Saturday, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds off the bench against the Hornets. This was Ibaka’s team leading 22nd double-double of the season and fourth in his last five games. For the season, Ibaka is averaging a career-high tying 15.1 points to go with 8.2 rebounds per game.
- Assist man: Right behind Serge Ibaka’s 22 double-doubles is Kyle Lowry who recorded his 20th double-double of the season against the Hornets, finishing with 16 points and 11 assists. Lowry is averaging a career-high 8.7 assists this year, second in the league behind leader Russell Westbrook. After Lowry, Fred VanVleet’s 4.8 assists are second on the team, while Marc Gasol (3.9), Kawhi Leonard (3.3) and Pascal Siakam (3.1) all average at least three dimes per game as well.
- All-around effort: The Raptors are the only team in the NBA that has a different leader in total minutes (Pascal Siakam), points (Kawhi Leonard), rebounds (Serge Ibaka) and assists (Kyle Lowry). Danny Green is also the team leader in three-pointers made, and he has set a new career-high for three-pointers in a season, making 192 threes through 78 games with the Raptors this season. His previous season high was 191 set during the 2014-15 season with the San Antonio Spurs. Only Kyle Lowry has hit more three-pointers in a season for the Raptors and he has done it three times.