The Toronto Raptors took their 7th straight win with a 101-81 home victory over the injury ravaged Miami Heat.The Raptors established an early lead in the first quarter and managed to put up 60 first half points which allowed them to head into the locker rooms up 60-44. Miami never really got back within touching distance as they trailed by double digits throughout the night. Toronto held a 13 point lead at the end of the third and finished strong to take the 20 point win.
DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with another huge game as he used a strong 3 point shooting performance to put in 33 for the night. He went 12-25 from the field and never allowed Miami back into the contest after Toronto had the early lead. Recently elected All-Star Kyle Lowry chipped in with 15 and finished with a +17 for the night while Jonas Valanciunas was dominant on the boards pulling in 13 rebounds as well as adding 3 blocked shots and a game high +18. Former Raptors franchise player Chris Bosh was Miami’s top scorer with 26 but went 1-5 from the 3 point line and finished with a -20. Although DeRozan was clearly the star of the night it was a well rounded team performance that got the win. The Raptors now move to 28-15 as they maintain second spot in the East currently 3.5 games behind Cleveland in first.
It was a strong overall performance, while a lot of points were poured in by DeRozan everyone contributed. Terrence Ross was 100% from both the field (4-4) and beyond the arc (2-2) as he scored 13 and missed just once for the entire night (a free throw late in the third). Luis Scola also managed 4-6 on his way to 12 and the team was simply able to find points when it mattered. Although a lot of the scoring was done by one player it felt as though everyone was capable of contributing. Miami were missing some key defensive players including block king Hassan Whiteside but take nothing away from the Raptors solid 101 or DeMar DeRozan’s impressive 33.
The Raptors were able to contain the Miami Heat to just 81 points and did not let any of their stars find range. Jonas Valanciunas had 3 blocked shots and 10 defensive rebounds while Bismack Biyombo pulled down 7 defensive boards and blocked 2 as well. Miami was able to find little scoring outside of Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade (22 pts), their next top scorer was Justise Winslow with 9 as the Raptors put the clamps on the Heat reserves who managed just 12. The Heat were without Goran Dragic, Luol Deng, Chris Anderson, Josh McRoberts and Hassan Whiteside in a game their fans will look to forget.
Believe or not the Raptors were actually out rebounded tonight, 41-42. Valanciunas still led the game with 13 boards overall but Miami had everyone grab a couple as they were led by veteran Udonis Haslem’s 9. Miami have been a strong rebounding team this season and have one of the NBA’s tallest line ups.The Raptors still managed 41 boards but let Miami grab 14 on offense the important thing is that it did not lead to Miami scoring more second chance points.
The Raptors will now face the travelling LA Clippers at the Air Canada Center in two nights time.