Mon, 01 Mar 2021

Raptors meet Heat, shoot for fourth straight win

Field Level Media
20 Jan 2021, 07:55 GMT+10

The Toronto Raptors will try to extend their winning streak to a season-best four games Wednesday night at their temporary home in Tampa, Fla., when they play the Miami Heat.

The Raptors, who will play their fourth game in a span of five straight at home, defeated Dallas 116-93 Monday night.

"We're trying to smooth out some things and extend our good moments of play over the course of the game, and I think it takes a little time," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "But I think there's a lot of basketball to be played. I don't think we were desperate for this. Nice to have it. ... Let's see if we can just keep taking them one at a time."

The Heat, playing without Jimmy Butler and Avery Bradley for the fourth game in a row because of COVID-19 protocols, defeated Detroit 113-107 Monday in Miami to end a three-game losing streak.

Miami has played without Tyler Herro (neck spasms) for the past two games. The Heat open a four-game trip against the Raptors.

"We can't wait to get those guys back," said Heat guard Goran Dragic, who scored 22 points Monday. "We're not the only team in this league who is dealing with those problems. So we have to play with our players that we have and hope to grind it, and hopefully that will be enough."

The Heat trailed the Pistons by 19 points in the first quarter Monday, prompting Dragic and Bam Adebayo, who finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds, to speak up.

"It is irrelevant what was being said," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "This group has a great deal of passion. Goran and Bam were the leaders, and everyone was following. Goran had that timeout, and another timeout Bam was sitting in my chair and took that timeout. That is what you want your leaders doing, just leading the way and everyone else just follow."

This will be the first of three meetings between the teams in the first half of the schedule. They will play again Friday at Tampa.

On Monday against Dallas, Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 23 points and added nine rebounds and seven assists. Pascal Siakam finished with 19 points and five assists.

"(Lowry) really had a good one going," Nurse said. "I think he was just in that zone where he was attacking at the right time, shooting at the right time. You know, finishing. He shot 9-for-12, that's super-efficient; he had a good one."

Lowry, who had 12 points in the third quarter, credited Siakam for scoring nine in the period.

"Pascal started off struggling a little bit, but I think Pascal found a way to get himself going," Lowry said. "He got more aggressive, got to the free-throw line and got himself going. That's the thing that helps everyone else."

Chris Boucher continued to be impressive for Toronto on Monday, getting 21 points and 10 rebounds as a reserve.

--Field Level Media

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