VanVleet’s career-high 36 helps the Raptors survive the Heat.
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, August 3, 2020
Toronto Raptors 107-103 Miami Heat
Orlando, FL - Fred VanVleet was a perfect 13/13 from the free throw line and an outstanding 7/12 from three for a career best 36 points in the Toronto Raptors afternoon 107-103 win over the Miami Heat.
In a tale of two halves the Raptors showed why their offence is hard to stop. The first half was a lot of open threes from both Freddy and Pascal Siakam as Miami packed the paint. Toronto shot an amazing 16/31 (52%) from three in the win. Siakam was the Raptors second leading scorer with 22 points.
When Miami decided to switch it up and play aggressive and chase off the line. Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka came to life. Lowry dealt with foul trouble all day, but still finished with 14 points, 9 of which were from the free-throw line. Ibaka really showcased his improved offensive role to the tune of 15 points off the bench, on a solid 7/12.
The Heat scored by committee, but it was the Raptors defensive quickness that was their issue. Miami took 46 of their 89 shots from beyond the arc but made only 14 for 30%. Most of which were highly contested with hands in their faces.
Marc Gasol struggled offensively, but was the backbone of the starters defensive unit and did well slowing down Kelly Olynyk late, who was the Heats second leading scorer with 17.
Gordon Dragic led Miami with 25 but has some bad turnovers with a game high six.
Jimmy Butler made his presence felt early on, rejecting Kyle Lowry and taking Fred VanVleet right to the basket.
Siakam was getting doubled in the post every time he caught the ball. That forced him to move out and catch it at the three-point line. Siakam was 3 for 5 from deep and dropped a game high 13 points in the first.
The defense was spectacular and ended the opening quarter up 23-17. Miami shot just 33% from the floor.
In the second we got a classic Kyle Lowry charge taken on Tyler Herro. That was shortly followed by his first points of the game, on a pull-up three. That put the Raptors up 32-26 almost halfway through the quarter.
Lowry picked up his third foul and sat the second half of the quarter. The Raptors had nine turnovers in the first half. Marc Gasol uncharacteristically had four turnovers to just one assist.
The Raptors held a narrow 48-44 lead. Toronto was beating the Heats defence from over the top, with 9 of their 15 made shots in the opening 24 minutes from three-point range.
An odd call by the officials as OG Anunoby was clearly tripped on purpose by Gordan Dragic after blocking him. It got looked at, but was a common foul. It was clear the Raptors smothering defence was frustrating the Heat.
Fred VanVleet was 6 of 11 from three for 31 points at the end of the third quarter. He was pacing the Raptors to a narrow 84-79 lead going to the final frame.
Both teams went on runs, but with forty seconds left it was just a one point Raptors lead.
After a Lowry miss, the Heat turned it over leading to the free throw game. VanVleet poked it away for a steal, sealing the Raptors win, 107-103.
Next Up, Game three of eight against the Orlando Magic on Wed, Aug 5th at 8:00pm Eastern.