Raptors Offense Takes the Heat in Loss to Miami
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Friday, January 3, 2020
The Toronto Raptors suffered their worst offensive output of the 2019-2020 season, dropping a 84-76 decision to the Miami Heat Thursday night at American Airlines arena.
The Raptors came into this one looking to avenge their December 3rd 121-110 overtime loss to the Heat but never seemed to find their rhythm. Toronto led 20-19 after the opening quarter, the Raps defense keeping the game close, forcing the Heat to take several contested shots. The Raptors trailed by just three at the half, 42-39, despite shooting just 31.1% from the field including a horrific 3 for 22 from beyond the arc.
The defensive struggle continued after the break, the Raptors taking a 43-42 lead on a driving layup by Kyle Lowry just under three minutes in. That would be the only lead the Raptors would have in the second half however, Miami guard Tyler Herro drilling a three to give the Heat a 63-60 lead after three quarters.
Herro picked up where he left off to start the final frame, hitting his first three shots including two threes to give the Heat a 73-64 advantage just 3:44 into the final period. The Raptors closed to within four with 5:27 left but the Heat responded with a 7-0 run to take a 80-69 lead with just over three minutes remaining. The Raptors failed to mount a serious challenge, scoring just 16 points in the final quarter.
Toronto finished shooting 31.5% from the field, with Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka combining to go a miserable 3 for 27 from distance.
Ibaka led the Raptors with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Lowry added 15 points. Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson gave a spirited performance off the bench with 13 points and seven rebounds in just over 29 minutes of action. The Raptors were again playing without injured starters Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol and swingman Norman Powell.
Bam Adebayo led a balanced Miami attack with 15 points and 14 boards.
The Heat have now won their last five games at home and are an outstanding 16-1 at American Airlines Arena. Overall, Miami’s 25-9 record is good for third place in the Eastern Conference, two and a half games ahead of the fourth place Raptors. Toronto is back in action Tuesday night, hosting the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.