The Toronto Raptors have been playing with a lot of confidence lately as they currently have the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, holding onto a 39-16 record. They will hope to grab their sixth straight win as they host the Miami Heat in Canada, who are coming fresh off of a five-game losing streak. This meeting between these two ball clubs will mark the second of three times that they will play each other this season.
The Raptors and the Heat have battled each other a grand total of 87 times as the Heat won 54 games while the Raptors were limited to just 33 wins. The last time they met up was on January 9 when the Miami team snuck away with a 90 to 89 victory. During that game, Goran Dragic scored 24 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot while DeMar DeRozan finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Rodney McGruder (leg)
Kelly Olynyk (shoulder; 11.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 49.5 FG%, 36.8 3P%)
Dion Waiters (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 39.8 FG%, 30.6 3P%)
Luke Babbitt (coach’s decision; 6.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.7 APG, 47.6 FG%, 44.1 3P%)
Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 0.6 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 40.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Jordan Mickey (coach’s decision; 4.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.5 APG, 47.8 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Derrick Jones (G-League; 3.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.5 APG, 38.6 FG%, 13.3 3P%)
Derrick Walton (G-League; 1.9 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 33.3 FG%, 41.2 3P%)
Lucas Nogueira (coach’s decision; 2.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 59.0 FG%, 21.4 3P%
Lorenzo Brown (G-League; 1.2 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Malcolm Miller (G-League; 2.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Malachi Richardson (G-League; 3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (G-League; 1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 50.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
The game would start very competitve as the Heat shot fifty-five percent from the field while Canada team ended up shooting fifty percent. Wayne Ellington would knock down 3 three-pointers in the second quarter as he grabbed three rebounds. The 2016 NBA leader in blocks Hassan Whiteside would contribute with eight points while shooting fifty-seven percent from the field. He also had 7 rebounds and one steal while Dwyane Wade had six points off of the bench. Goran Dragic ended up scoring seven points but only shot thirty-eight percent from the field. James Johnson played 17 minutes off of the bench as he had eleven points.
As for the Raptors, Kyle Lowry poured 13 points on the court while knocking two three-pointers down in the second quarter. He also had two defensive rebounds and six assists while DeMar DeRozan earned himself seven points on thirty-three percent shooting. Serge Ibaka helped out with seven points, as well, along with four defensive rebounds while Jonas Valanciunas had six points. Former Utah Jazz player C.J. Miles played the most minutes off of the bench to get hot for ten points as the Raptors went into halftime with a 57 to 55 lead.
The home team would close things out of the second half as they went on a 61 to 57 run, shooting forty-five percent from the field. During that run, DeRozan lit the floor up with 20 points which included a three-pointer in the middle of the third period. He also had two rebounds and three assists while Lowry added to his scoring total by chalking up 12 more points. Lowry earned nine of those points from beyond the arc while Ibaka had 7 points and 6 rebounds. Dragic, on the other end, got extremely hot for 21 points but it wasn’t enough as the Raptors hold the Heat off, 115 to 112. DeMar DeRozan finished the game with 27 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal while Goran Dragic had 28 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal.
The Miami Heat will travel to Pennsylvania to battle Joel Embiid (23.7 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 3.1 APG, 49 FG%) and the Philadelphia 76ers (29-25) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. This meeting will mark the second of four times that they will clashed with each other this season. The 76ers and the Heat have met up a total of 119 times in the past as the 76ers won 57 games while the Heat went on to win 62 games. February 2 was the last time they saw each other as the 76ers pulled away with a 103-97 victory. Ben Simmons finished that game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Kelly Olynyk had 19 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and one block.
The Toronto Raptors will visit the Windy City to take on Zach LaVine (17.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 41 FG%) and the Chicago Bulls (20-36) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. This game will mark the fourth and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season. The Raptors and the Bulls have battled each other a grand total of 84 times as the Raptors won 36 games while the Bulls went on to pull out 48 victories. The last time they played each other was on January 3 when the Raptors handed the Bulls a 124-115 loss. During that game, DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished out 6 assists, and committed 3 steals while Justin Holiday had 26 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal.