Wednesday, May 18 2022

Three days after losing a triple-overtime classic to the Raptors, the Miami Heat will seek revenge in a rematch at Toronto on Tuesday.

After coming back from a 16-point deficit to force overtime on Saturday in Miami, the Heat lost 124-120.

“I’ve never been part of triple overtime,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I think it was the best basketball game of the year.”

Both teams played again Monday. The depleted Heat lost 122-92 to the Boston Celtics in the opener of a six-game road trip.

The Raptors defeated the Atlanta Hawks 106-100 to complete their trip with a 2-1 record. Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. scored 31 points, his fourth straight game with 30 or more points.

The Heat were without three starters: Kyle Lowry (personal), Jimmy Butler (right big toe irritation) and P.J. Tucker (left knee irritation). Butler and Tucker played 52 minutes and 41 minutes, respectively, on Saturday.

The injuries to Butler and Tucker are not considered serious. Lowry has missed eight straight games.

“It’s hard to evaluate anything in this game,” Spoelstra said. “We played about seven good minutes of basketball and the rest of it I would love to just put it in a (dump) truck. The rest of it was just unwatchable and uncharacteristic for us.”

In the Saturday matchup, each Toronto starter played more than 50 minutes.

“I would imagine you’re going to see a lot of guys hit the floor tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said before the game on Monday.

Nurse used nine players at Atlanta, but Pascal Siakam and Trent each played more than 40 minutes and the other three starters each played more than 35 minutes.

Trent made nine 3-pointers to become the first Raptor to score 30 or more points in four straight games since Kawhi Leonard did so in January 2019.

Trent outscored the Hawks 17-15 in the third quarter.

“It gives you a huge lift,” Nurse said. “That’s big.”

Siakam scored 25 points, Fred VanVleet added 16 and OG Anunoby scored 15.

The Raptors outscored the Hawks 32-15 in the third period, limiting the Hawks to 7-for-21 shooting in the quarter and forcing seven turnovers as they overcame a nine-point halftime deficit.

“We were out and really making them pull back a lot of shots,” Nurse said. “I thought they pump-faked a lot and went to the next play and somebody would cover that one up. … Our hustle and reacting out to shooters and helping each other was pretty good.”

Miami got 27 points on Monday from Max Strus, who shot 9-for-17 from 3-point range. The rest of the Heat combined to make 8 of 27 (29.6 percent) from long distance. Tyler Herro (13 points) and Duncan Robinson (six points) each hit 2 of 8 from beyond the arc.

“I knew we had to get them up,” Strus said. “The goal was to shoot 45 (3-pointers) as a team, so I knew me and Dunc were going to have to shoot at least 10 each. So looking at the game, I knew that I was going to have to get some threes up.”

The Heat will be playing their fourth game in five nights on Tuesday.

“We’ve been through a bunch of stuff within the last 72 hours,” Spoelstra said. “I’m not saying that as an excuse. We just need to get some rest and get on to Toronto.”

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports

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