NBA

107
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Toronto 23 25 36 23 107
Miami 17 27 35 24 103
103
10:30 AM PT11:30 AM MT12:30 PM CT1:30 PM ET17:30 GMT1:30 10:30 AM MST12:30 PM EST21:30 UAE19:3013:30 ET12:30 PM CT16:30 , August 3, 2020
HP Field House, Kissimmee, Florida

Raptors, Heat look to continue strong restarts

According to STATS
According to STATS

Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat

  1. Miami has won its first two meetings with the Raptors this season, including an 84-76 victory in their last meeting on January 2. The only Eastern Conference team to sweep a season series with the Raptors in the last four seasons was Detroit (3-0) in 2018-19 (minimum three meetings).
  2. The Raptors defeated the Lakers, 107-92, in their return to play following the league suspension, recording their fifth straight victory going back to March. Toronto is an NBA-best 22-4 (.856) since January 15 as all other teams have lost at least six games in that time.
  3. Miami won its first game after the shutdown, 125-105, against Denver on Friday. The Heat continued the momentum they started before the league suspension, having now won six of their last eight games after winning just five of their previous 14.
  4. Kyle Lowry pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds in Toronto's win over the Lakers in their return to play on Saturday. At 6'0", Lowry ties Ish Smith (14 rebounds with PHI at POR on March 26, 2016) as the shortest player to pull down at least 14 rebounds in an NBA game in the last 30 seasons.
  5. Bam Adebayo scored 22 points against Denver on Friday, equaling Jimmy Butler for team-high honors while recording his 19th game of 20+ points this season. Adebayo has improved his scoring average by 7.4 points per game (8.9 in 2018-19 to 16.3 in 2019-20), the largest increase by a Heat player since Dwyane Wade improved his scoring by 7.9 PPG (16.2-24.1) from 2003-04 to 2004-05 (min. 70% of team games played each season).
  6. The Raptors lead the NBA with 19.3 fast break points per game this season, as fast break points account for a league-high 17.1% of Toronto's scoring this season. Miami, on the other hand, has allowed just 11.5 fast break points per game; only the Thunder (10.5) allow fewer.
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

The Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors both feel good about their potential for making a deep playoff run entering Monday's meeting near Orlando.

Both franchises pride themselves on playing stingy defensive and cohesive offense.

Toronto entered the restart with a fully healthy rotation for the first time since the early days of the season. The defending NBA champions are among the favorites to reach the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks in what would be a rematch of their 2019 series.

Miami, led by wing Jimmy Butler and his Type-A personality, may have what it takes to pull some surprises. The famed "Heat Culture" seems like a perfect fit for the NBA bubble because this is a serious-minded team that does a great job of eliminating distractions.

That Heat mindset was in evidence on Saturday night as Miami shut down the Denver Nuggets, 125-105.

"We're locked in defensively," Heat center Bam Adebayo said. "We played a lot harder in the second half."

The Raptors, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-92 on Saturday, have been seemingly overlooked by numerous NBA observers. The source of that so-called disrespect stems from forward Kawhi Leonard's decision to bolt from Toronto after leading the Raptors to the 2019 NBA title.

That left the Raptors without a true superstar -- not that it bothers Toronto coach Nick Nurse.

"I don't think anybody's going to pay too much attention to us," Nurse said. "But that's OK. We know we're tough to beat, and I don't think we've reached our ceiling yet."

Toronto is second in the NBA in steals and second in fewest points allowed in the paint.

Miami is second in the NBA in fewest points allowed on fast breaks and tied for second in defensive rebound percentage.

The Raptors are led in scoring by forward Pascal Siakam, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player last season when he averaged 16.9 points. This season, the fourth-year pro is averaging 23.5 points, although he had a poor shooting performance Saturday night against the Lakers (5 of 17).

Raptors veteran point guard Kyle Lowry leads the team in assists (7.6) and is second in scoring (20.0). He was impressive against the Lakers with 33 points.

The rest of Toronto's starting lineup includes shooting guard Fred VanVleet (17.5 points, team-high 1.9 steals); small forward OG Anunoby (10.9 points); and 7-1 veteran center Marc Gasol (7.6 points, 6.4 rebounds). Guard Norman Powell (16.2 points) and big man Serge Ibaka (team-high 8.2 rebounds) are the key reserves.

Miami, which is 2-0 against the Raptors this season, started Adebayo, Butler and Jae Crowder in its frontcourt on Friday. Rookie point guard Kendrick Nunn and sharp-shooting Duncan Robinson started in the backcourt.

But the Heat -- a team with excellent depth -- got 20 points, all in the fourth quarter, from backup center Kelly Olynyk, who made 8-of-11 shots from the floor, including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.

Miami's bench also includes point guard Goran Dragic, a 2018 All-Star; shooting guard Tyler Herro, Miami's standout first-round pick; and veteran wing Andre Iguodala, who already has won three NBA titles and an Olympic gold medal.

Butler leads Miami in scoring (20.3), assists (6.1) and steals (1.7). Adebayo leads the Heat in rebounds (10.5) and blocks (1.3). Secondary scoring comes from Adebayo (16.3); Dragic (16.0) and Nunn (15.6).

--Field Level Media

Updated August 3, 2020


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