Game Rap: Raptors 89, Heat 104
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
The Heat took an 85-63 lead into the fourth quarter. Although the Raptors used a late push to get within 11 points, the second half was all Miami as the Heat rolled to a dominant 89-104 victory over the Raptors to close out a five-game road trip for Toronto
CARROLL OUT, POWELL IN IN
DeMarre Carroll was a late scratch from the lineup prior to things getting underway in Miami. Although Carroll returned from an ankle sprain to play in Atlanta on Friday night, he rested on Saturday against the Heat. The Raptors started Norman Powell in his place alongside DeMar DeRozan, Cory Joseph, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas.
DEFENCE-LESS FIRST Q
Neither team played much defence to start off on Saturday. Although the Raptors bounced back from a brutal fourth quarter in Atlanta the night before, their 50 percent shooting in the first quarter on Saturday still paled in comparison to Miami’s 63 percent shooting. DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 11 points in the quarter, but the Heat used a balanced scoring effort and six three-pointers to take a 32-26 lead after the opening quarter.
Things went downhill for Toronto in the second quarter. Much like that aforementioned four quarter in Atlanta, the Raptors offence disappeared quickly in Miami. Toronto shot just 27 percent in the second quarter, making 7-of-26 field goals while giving up 41 percent shooting to the Heat. In a very sloppy quarter, the Raptors turned the ball over four times leading to nine points for the Heat. Goran Dragic continued to put points on the board with ease for Miami, leading all scorers with nine in the quarter and 15 in the half as the Heat took a controlling 41-59 lead into the halftime break.
UNABLE TO KEEP UP
Toronto’s offensive woes continued in the third quarter. With just five made field goals in the quarter, the Raptors were outscored 26-22 in the third as Miami shot 58 percent to Toronto’s 33 percent. Tyler Johnson came off the bench for the Heat to score 10 points in the third and help Miami take a 63-85 lead into the fourth. In the final quarter, the Raptors would make a late run to cut the Miami lead to 11, but the first half deficit was too much too overcome on the second game of a back-to-back at the end of a five game road trip.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Toronto’s bench came into the game and provided an energy burst that was lacking with the starting unit. Although the Raptors reserves were outscored by the Heat bench in the game, a late push from the reserves in the fourth was the best Toronto looked through the game.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Delon Wright came off the bench to lead the reserves in scoring in 25 minutes of playing time. He scored 13 points to go with three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Wright shot 5-for-8 from the floor and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
THAT'S A RAP…
“Look at the calendar. 15 games left [in the regular season]. That should be all the motivation we need right there. We don't have much time and every single game that we have to play is valuable. That’s how we have to look at it.”
- DeMar DeRozan on motivation returning home
BY THE #’S
38…Percent shooting for Toronto, 49 percent shooting for Miami.
2…Three-pointers for the Raptors in 15 attempts. The Heat had 11 three-pointers in 28 attempts.
16…Offensive rebounds for Toronto, two for Miami.
10…Blocks for the Heat, five for the Raptors.
21…Assists for Miami compared to just seven for the Raptors.
THEY SAID IT…
“Typical back-to -back game. We knew that was going to be the question: who outworked who. I think the first quarter we tried to come out, and then they really just sustaining their energy, their effort, they were fresh and they got us. I really respected the way our young group came in an competed at the end.”
- Dwane Casey on a tough loss in a back-to-back situation against a rested Heat team
“That’s a team over there that’s fighting for a playoff spot and 48 minutes a night they show why they want to be in the playoffs. They played like it.”
- DeMar DeRozan on a surging Heat team
“There’s no mercy in this league. Teams are not going to be like ‘You’re on a a back-to-back, let’s take it easy on you,’ you know. They came out and they just outplayed us from the jump. They had way more energy. They just out-physicaled us, beat us to every loose ball and what not. They were playing better basketball.”
- Cory Joseph on the Heat outplaying the Raptors
“Tonight was all about energy. Who had the fresh legs, who had the energy and Miami did tonight.”
- Dwane Casey on the difference between the two teams on Saturday
“It starts with everybody individually, including myself. Just playing harder from the get go. Doing the little things, playing together. As long as we stick together we’ll come out of this for sure. We’re a good team. We’ve got a lot of talented players. We’re in a little rough patch right now, but just like how you can fall in a rough patch quickly you can get out of it quickly. That’s what we’re hoping to do. We’ve just got to be better from the jump.”
- Cory Joseph on getting back on track with a return home
The Raptors look to get back on track when they return to Toronto to prepare for the Dallas Mavericks on Monday at 7:30 P.M. ET.