Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky/The Associated Press
The Raptors battled hard on the second night of a back-to-back but didn’t have enough in them as the Heat won their fourth straight game, 116-108 over Toronto.
After missing the first two matchups earlier this season, Jimmy Butler had an excellent performance, scoring a game-high 27 points, 12 of them in the fourth quarter. Butler had a complete game, adding 10 assists and 8 rebounds to propel the Heat to victory.
Kyle Lowry who returned after missing the past four games, scored 24 points, shooting 9-13 from the field, while Fred VanVleet hit 5 three pointers, matching Lowry with a team-high 24 points. On a night where Pascal Siakam only scored five points and sat on the bench throughout the entire fourth, Lowry and VanVleet were able to keep the Raptors in the game with their shooting
Bam Adebayo had his way in the paint, contributing to a +8 offensive rebound margin for Miami, including several important offensive boards down the stretch, while the Heat bench provided the team with a much needed spark.
17-year veteran Andre Iguodala turned back the clock, scoring 12 points off the bench and a season high 4 three pointers. Gabe Vincent was able to score 11, only his his fourth double-digit performance on the year, while Goran Dragic returned after missing nine games to score 15 points off the bench. The Heat bench outscored Toronto 39-24 on the night, a pivotal factor in their victory.
While the Heat were ahead for the majority of the game, the Raptors battled back in the fourth quarter and had it within two with five minutes left in the game. After a Norman Powell turnover, Jimmy Butler then took over, scoring the next 8 points for the Heat, making two three pointers and delivering a dagger to the Raptors chances.
After a stretch of 5 games in 7 days, Toronto will look forward to a day off and their next three games at home. The Raptors look to get back to 0.500 on Friday night against the Houston Rockets at 7:30PM EST.