NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 5th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (16-15) at Miami Heat (25-8), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat bounced back from a rare home loss, but
face a stiff test against a fellow division leader Sunday night when they host
the Toronto Raptors.
After a 123-114 loss at home the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, the Heat
trounced the Orlando Magic, 110-94 on the road Saturday night.
LeBron James only shot 5-for-13 en route to 15 points as it was someone else's
turn for the Heat.
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade scored 20 points apiece for Miami, which has won
three of four and nine of its last 11. Bosh shot 9-of-9 from the field as the
Heat won their 22nd straight game against the Southeast Division.
"CB is our rock," praised Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. "He's doing it on
both ends. He's a true two-way player. He's dynamic, he's unique."
Rashard Lewis made his second start of the season for an injured Shane Battier
and donated 18 points. James' 15-point output was a season low, but he chipped
in eight rebounds and eight assists.
"Tonight was one of those games where I didn't have to put too much pressure
on scoring," said James. "I just tried to get my guys involved, tried to get
The Heat host New Orleans on Tuesday, then hit the road for six straight.
The Raptors have been the toast of the NBA over the last 10 days. They've won
five straight and grabbed a four-game lead in the Atlantic Division, although
they're the only team with an above .500 record.
Toronto began a three-game road trip with a 101-88 drubbing of the Washington
Wizards. Things don't get easier for the Raptors because after Sunday's tilt
with the two-time defending champions, they visit the Indiana Pacers on
DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points and Kyle Lowry had 19 points and 11 assists
against the Wiz on Friday. Patrick Patterson added 18 points, Amir Johnson
scored 17 and Terrence Jones notched 14 for the Raptors, who got their third
straight win over the Wizards, but only their second in their last seven trips
They are 9-2 with a new-look roster after trading Rudy Gay and 7-1 in their
last eight road games.
"Winning is contagious, and we're making winning plays. It's not about making
extra passes," Lowry said. "It's about winning and how you win is by making
extra passes, so everyone is making extra passes, so everybody wants to win.
It's not the fancy passes."
The Heat have won 13 straight against the Raptors, including two this season,
both in Toronto. Miami has taken seven in a row in South Beach.
01/05 10:27:42 ET