Miami Heat’s playoff chances continue to slim down

Miami Heat’s playoff chances continue to slim down

The 38-40 Miami Heat are currently struggling to squeeze into the Playoffs as they travel to Canada to take on the 48-31 Toronto Raptors.  These two teams have met up a total of three times this season with Toronto taking two of those three games.  The first game was played in the Air Canada Centre on November 4 as the home team would win 96-87.  In that game, DeMar DeRozan ended with thirty-four points, four rebounds and four assists while Hassan Whiteside finished with twenty-one points, sixteen rebounds and and three assists.  In the second meeting, which was held on March 11 in Miami, the home team would win 104 to 89.  Dion Waiters finished with twenty points, one rebound and five assists.  On the other end, DeRozan ended with seventeen points, four rebounds and two assists.  The third matchup would take place in South Beach, as well, but it would be Toronto who wins this one, 101 to 84.  DeRozan went for forty points, six rebounds and three assists, while Whiteside took sixteen points, fourteen rebounds and two assists.  The Florida team would look to even this series out as they continue to fight for a Playoff spot.

The three-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan would start off hot in the first quarter, scoring sixteen points as he knocks down 66% of his shots.  Kyle Lowry would be limited to only two points while Goran Dragic scored nine points for his Miami Heat team, along with Josh Richardson’s five points.  But it would be the Raptors who entered the second quarter with a 26 to 19 lead.  DeRozan didn’t show any signs of slowing down as he collects nine more points in the second period while Cory Joseph comes off the bench to get nine, as well.  Former Raptors player, James Johnson, would drop nine points on his old team, as well, including one 3-pointer.  But it was the home team that would walk into the locker room with a 53 to 43 lead.  Miami Heat would look to come back as they go on a 22-17 run in the third period.  Whiteside would put up seven points and collect four boards, while James Johnson collects six more points but it was still the Toronto Raptors who would enter the last quarter with a 70-65 lead.  The South Beach team would not go away, though, as they shoot 52% from the field in the fourth quarter.  Wayne Ellington would come off the bench to drop nine points, including three 3-pointers.  Johnson, Whiteside and Dragic would put up five points each as the Heat would cut the lead down to five points with forty seconds left in the game.  DeRozan would hit a jumper with twenty-five seconds left and right after that, Ellington would knock down a three-pointer, bringing the Heat within three with only five seconds left.  But with DeRozan knocking down two free throws, the Raptors would pull away with a 96 to 94 win.  DeMar DeRozan would finish the game with thirty-eight points, six rebounds and two assists.  James Johnson finishes with twenty-two points, ten rebounds and three assists.

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