Game Preview: Raptors at Heat
Toronto Raptors (59-22) @ Miami Heat (43-38)
When: Wednesday, April 11th, 8 P.M. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena
Broadcast info: TSN, TSN1050
The Raptors held on for a 115-112 victory against the Heat in Toronto back in February. Though Toronto led 98-81 heading into the fourth, the Heat pushed the Raptors to the brink, outscoring Toronto 31-17 in the quarter, using a 13-0 run to get within three with 56 seconds remaining, and two with 6.6 seconds on the clock. With an opportunity to tie the game and force overtime, Josh Richardson's three-pointer was off the mark and the Raptors held on for the win. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 27 points, while Kyle Lowry added 22 points. The Heat were led by Goran Dragic's 28 points in the loss.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: For the Raptors, Lucas Nogueira (left hamstring tightness), and Fred VanVleet (lower back tightness) are questionable. Both missed Toronto's previous game in Detroit. For the Heat, Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) is out.
82 of 82: Wednesday's contest against the Heat will close out the regular season for Toronto. Toronto has already set a new franchise record for wins in a season, wins at home, and wins on the road. The Raptors have also clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in franchise history.
To be determined: While Toronto already has the top seed in the conference wrapped up, the Heat are still in play for the 6th, 7th and 8th seed in the East. With the Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards all within one game of each other, Wednesday's game could help determine which team the Raptors will face in the first round of the postseason.
G-League MVP: Lorenzo Brown was named the G-League MVP on Tuesday. Brown is a two-way player with the Raptors and 905, and he averaged team-highs of 18.8 points, 8.9 assists and 1.78 steals in 32 games with Raptors 905 this season. He helped lead Raptors 905 to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Austin Spurs defeated Raptors 905 by a score of 98-76 on Tuesday in Game 2 of the G-League Finals to sweep the series 2-0 and earn this year's G-League Championship.
Mighty JV: Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors in Monday's 108-98 victory in Detroit. He scored a game-high 25 points on 11-of-13 field goals to go with nine rebounds in 25 minutes. When Valanciunas was on the floor, the Raptors were a +21. On the season, Valanciunas is the only player in the league averaging at least 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in 25.0 minutes or less per game.
Ibaka fresh: The Raptors rested Serge Ibaka in Monday's victory against the Pistons. With DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas resting in the previous game, Ibaka had his opportunity to rest his legs in preparation for the postseason. Lorenzo Brown, Alfonzo McKinnie, and Malcolm Miller all traveled to Detroit to join the Raptors for the game.