The Miami Heat visit the Toronto Raptors tonight at the Air Canada Centre, at 7:30 PM EDT in the first of four contests between the two teams this season. The Raptors will host the return engagement on November 29th, with two meetings in South Beach on January 5th and on March 31st. After opening the season with a home court 107-95 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, the HEAT lost two straight on the road, first to the Philadelphia 76ers 114-110 on Wednesday, then 101-100 to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday before rebounding at home against the Washington Wizards 103-93 on Sunday. They'll go on to host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, the Boston Celtics on Saturday, the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday next week, and the Dallas Mavericks on November 15th.
The Raptors opened with a 93-87 home win over the Boston Celtics before dropping a road matchup, 102-95 to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 97-90 on the road Saturday. After the game tonight, the Raptors will hit the road to face the Charlotte Bobcats tomorrow and the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.
The HEAT and the Raptors last faced off on St. Patrick's Day, as the 26-40 Raptors team hosted the 50-14 HEAT. Dwyane Wade led the way with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field along with eight assists, LeBron James scored 22 with 12 rebounds and eight helpers, Ray Allen hit four-of-six three-pointers for 20 points, and Chris Bosh nailed seven-of 10 for 18 points. Rudy Gay led the way for the Raptors with a game high 27 points, while Amir Johnson scored 18 points with 18 boards as the HEAT defeated Toronto, 108-91. * Full Recap * Box Score
Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors (Full Recap) March 17, 2013 (via ThisisNBA1)
All-World forward LeBron James spoke about the HEAT's then-22 game win streak afterward:
It's a special team. It's a special ride right now that we're on and I think the best thing about it is we're doing it together. We're doing it for one another and just want to try to keep it going. It's not about the streak, it's about us getting better each and every day, preparing to win each and every night and we've been fortunate to do that.
For the Raptors take on events, check out Raptors HQ.
Miami's last game would see the HEAT rebound from consecutive losses for a 103-93 home victory over the Washington Wizards. LeBron James led the way with 25 points on nine-of-14 shooting, including three three-pointers, Chris Bosh scored shot eight-for-12, scoring 24 points with seven rebounds, Dwayne Wade dropped in 20 with five rebounds and five dimes, and Mario Chalmers dished out eight assists for the Heat. Bradley Beal had 19 points, Marcin Gortat scored 15 with 11 rebounds, and John Wall contributed 11 points with nine assists in a losing effort for Washington. * Full Recap * Box Score
Washington Wizards vs Miami Heat | November 3, 2013 | Full Highlights | NBA 2013-14 Season (via NBA League)
Dwyane Wade spoke afterward about the comfort of familiarity
If you've been in a relationship with a woman for a long time, you start getting comfortable. You stop doing the little things that you should do, that you did in the beginning. We've been together for a while. We've gotten comfortable. ... This is like a relationship. We got a little comfortable. Now, we've got to get back on the edge a little bit.
Check out Bullets Forever for more on the Wizards.
Toronto defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 97-90 to start the season with a 2-1 record on Saturday. Rudy Gay led the way with 18 points and 15 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan scored 17 with six boards and five assists, and Kyle Lowry pitched in with 14 points, six rebounds and four helpers. The Bucks were led by OJ Mayo with 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench. * Full Recap * Box Score
Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks | November 2, 2013 | Full Highlights | NBA 2013-14 Season (via NBA League)
Gay spoke later about the Raptors 60-38 edge in rebounding:
That's something we didn't do last night. It shows how resilient we are. We learned from last night and today we picked it up and still got the win, even though it wasn't pretty
For more on the Bucks, go to Brew Hoop.
Game Time: 7:00 PM ET
Broadcast: LEAGUE PASS, TSN2, TSN2, SunSpM
All-Time Series: In 64 contests, the HEAT have gone 43-21 against Toronto, a 67.2% winning percentage.
Season Series: First of four
Miami Heat: 2-2, .500, on pace for a 41-41 season. Tied for first in the Southeast Division, tied for 5th in the Eastern
Toronto Raptors: 2-1, .667, on pace for a 55-27 season. Second in the Atlantic Division, tied for third in the Eastern Conference, tied for fifth in the NBA. Last Five: x x w l w
Games: Shane Battier just moved into 50th all-time, passing Mike Miller with 141. Norris Cole needs two more starts to tie Malik Allen with 151, in 45th. If Michael Beasley plays, he'll tie Antoine Walker in 41st with his 160th appearance. LeBron James will pass Willie Burton into 22nd with three more starts, giving him 224. James Jones will break his 18th place tie with Anthony Carter with his next start, number 247. If Mario Chalmers plays and Joel Anthony doesn't, the two will be tied in 10th all time with 371 games played.
Buckets: If LeBron James scores 45 points more than Udonis Haslem, he will pass him into seventh all-time.
Boards: Michael Beasley needs six rebounds to move into 22nd all-time, passing Jamal Mashburn with 943. Joel Anthony needs 11 boards to pass Tim Hardaway into 15th with 1181.
Helpers: Chris Bosh needs two assists to pass Keith Askins and Chris Quinn into 30th with his 376th.
Theft: Billy Owens sits in 36th with 110 steals. Joel Anthony is two back, Shane Battier is five back, and Norris Cole sits six short. LeBron James is eight behind ninth place Udonis Haslem with 372. Mario Chalmers will pass Kevin Edwards into fourth with six more steals, giving him 561.
Rejections: Chris Andersen just moved into the Heat's all-time top 50, tying Tim Hardaway, Antoine walker, and Erick Dampier with 47 blocks. Mario Chalmers will tie Voshon Lenard in 46th with one more, making 51. James Jones' next one will make 53, moving him into 42nd past Brian Shaw, Bily Owens, and LaPhonso Ellis. LeBron James needs three to pass Keith Askins into 14th, with 171.
Today in HEAT history
Miami is 4-7 when playing on November 5th through their history.
1988 - Los Angeles Clippers 111, Miami Heat 91
1991 - Boston Celtics 93, Miami Heat 89
1993 - Orlando Magic 116, Miami Heat 96
1997 - Miami Heat 90, Boston Celtics 74
1999 - Miami Heat 105, Chicago Bulls 87
2002 - Indiana Pacers 83, Miami Heat 79
2005 - Milwaukee Bucks 105, Miami Heat 100
2006 - Philadelphia 76ers 107, Miami Heat 98
2008 - Miami Heat 106, Philadelphia 76ers 83
2010 - New Orleans Hornets 96, Miami Heat 93
Former all-star Jerry Stackhouse (seven games with Miami) turns 39 years old today.
PG - Kyle Lowry
PF - Amir Johnson
C - Jonas Valanciunas
SF - Rudy Gay
SG - DeMar DeRozan
Points: LBJ - 23.3, BOSH - 19.8, DWade - 18.0
Rebounds: BOSH - 6.8, LBJ - 5.0, DWade - 4.7
Assists: LBJ - 8.0, Rio - 4.8, DWade, RayRay - 4.0
Steals: Rio - 3.3, DWade - 1.7, LBJ, 'shard - 1.0
Blocks: BOSH - 1.5, DWade - 1.0, Chris Andersen - 0.8
PER: LBJ (152 minutes) - 23.4, BOSH (131 minutes) - 22.5, 'shard (32 minutes) - 21.6, RayRay (114 minutes) - 19.3, Rio (117 minutes) - 19.3
Points: DeMar DeRozan - 20.3, Rudy Gay - 17.0, Kyle Lowry - 13.7
Rebounds: Rudy Gay - 9.3, Tyler Hansbrough - 7.3, Jonas Valaciunas - 7.0
Assists: Kyle Lowry - 5.3, DeMar DeRozan - 3.0, Amir Johnson, DJ Augustin - 2.3
Steals: DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay - 1.7, four tied at 0.7
Blocks: Jonas Valanciunas, Tyler Hansbrough - 1.3, Rudy Gay - 0.7
PER: Amir Johnson (90 minutes) - 24.3, Tyler Hansbrough (61 minutes) - 19.6, Landry Fields (70 minutes) - 17.0, DeMar DeRozan (112 minutes) - 16.2, Kyle Lowry (103 minutes) - 15.7
Thanks for stopping by Hot Hot Hoops today. Check back for the GameThread, going live at 7 PM. For more on the Raptors, check in over at Raptors HQ.