Tying a franchise record for wins and securing home court advantage in the first round of the postseason in one night’s of work? Not too shabby for your Toronto Raptors.
Lou Williams scored 29 points, DeMar DeRozan added 24 and Kyle Lowry chipped in 12 points to go with seven dimes as the Raptors prevailed over the Miami Heat 107-104 Saturday night at the AmericanAirlines Arena. It came down to the wire and few lead changes were exchanged, but a three point dagger with 29 seconds left hit by the aforementioned Williams was ultimately the difference.
Miami’s playoff hopes are pretty much dead with the loss while the Raptors continue to jockey for position with the Chicago Bulls, eying a third seed in the Eastern Conference. Toronto (48-32) and their dream of a 50-win season is still in play.
The Heat’s dominance at home against the Raptors also halted to ten games. The last time the Raptors escaped with a W in South Beach since tonight was November 2008. Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker were in uniform in that contest and Barrack Obama was recently elected as president. Way too long.
A very efficient collective outing by the Raps. The Dinos finished scored 100+ points on 42.2% shooting and in classic Raptors fashion pulverized their opponent from downtown (9-26). Williams outperformed the entire Miami bench and as a whole the Raptors scored 56 compared to the pedestrian 21 mustered by the Heat pine. Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson both had productive outings and were instrumental in the victory.
Usually, when the Raps allow opponents to hit the century mark it ends in defeat. Fortunately, Miami was absolutely horrendous from the charity stripe (24-44) and had no mojo from beyond the arch (6-20 for 30.0%). The Heat were beasts in the post and had 54 points in the paint while Toronto scored 36.
Both teams were neck in neck rebound wise, splitting 47-47. Tyler “Psycho T” Hansborough led the charge with 10 rebounds and Chuck Hayes amassed an impressive seven boards in limited action. However, the Raptors along with many other teams had no solution for leading rebounder Hassan Whiteside who had 18 by night’s end.
Game Ball: Lou Williams
Sweet Lou was a key offensive catalyst, especially in the opening frames, with 20 points scored by halftime. The ninth year pro was smooth from the line, finishing a perfect 7-7, and provided a much needed punch from the bench. Look for the Williams to continue his strong play down the final stretch.
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