Tonight at 7PM, the Miami Heat will host the Toronto Raptors at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. This is the second of four meetings this season between the two. The Raptors won the first, 96-87 on November 4th. The two will rematch here in 12 days, then again in Toronto on April 7th.
On November 4th, the 3-1 Raptors took down the 2-2 Heat by a 96-87 final. Miami was led by Hassan Whiteside’s 21 points , 16 rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Goran Dragic scored 17 with five rebounds and five assists, Tyler Johnson scored 16 with four rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two helpers, and Justise Winslow pitched in with 13 points, four assists, three boards and two steals. The Raptors were paced by 34 points from DeMar DeRozan and 20 off the bench from Terrence Ross.
Miami is closing a two-game homestand and will hit the road for one game against the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night. After that, they’ll come back for a five-game homestand.
The first game of their current homestand was a 108-101 win against the Charlotte Hornet on Wednesday night. Dion Waiters scored 24 with five helpers and three rebounds, Goran Dragic scored 22 with 10 assists and six rebounds, Hassan Whiteside had 10 points with 15 rebounds, four blocks and two steals, and James Johnson had 10 with six rebounds, five assists and three blocks. The Heat took the win despite a 33 point game from noted Heat-killer Kemba Walker and 14 points with 12 rebounds from Marvin Williams.
It came down to who wanted it more. - Waiters
The Raptors will be playing in the final game of a five game roadtrip. They defeated the Washington Wizards, 114-106 last Friday, lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, 101-94 the next night, and defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 94-87 on Wednesday. Last night, they lost, 105-99 to the Atlanta Hawks. DeMar DeRozan had 28 points with eight rebounds and six assists in the loss to lead Toronto, and Jonas Valanciunas scored 11 with 12 rebounds. The Hawks were paced by 26 with six boards from Dennis Schroder. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 20 with six assists, and Paul Millsap scored 21.
From five on up, it's all right there. It's going to be a battle to the end. - DeRozan, talking about playoff seeding and first round home-court.
GameTime: 8PM EST, AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida
All-Time Head-to-Heat: Miami is 49-27 all-time against the Raptors, their third-best record against any NBA opponent.
Odds: Miami has a 61.6% probability of victory, according to numberFire.com. The site predicts a 104-99 Heat win, with projected Five Stars of 1) DeMar DeRozan, 2) Hassan Whiteside, 3) Goran Dragic, 4) Dion Waiters, and 5) Jonas Valanciunas
Heat: 31-34, .477, 1⁄2 game behind the eighth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. On pace for a 39-43 season. Third in the Southeast Division, nine games behind division leading Washington, tied for ninth in the Eastern Conference, with the Chicago Bulls 12 games behind the conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers. Tied for 16th in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-W-W-W. Playoff Odds: 50.8%.
Raptors: 38-27, .585, on pace for a 48-34 season. Second in the Atlantic Division, 2.5 games behind the division leading Boston Celtics. Fourth in the Eastern Conference, five games behind the Cavaliers. Ninth in the NBA. Last Five: L-W-L-W-L. Playoff Odds: 100.0%
(according to rotowire.com)
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Rodney McGruder
SF - Dion Waiters
PF - Luke Babbitt
C - Hassan Whiteside
PG - Cory Joseph
SG - DeMar DeRozan
SF - DeMarre Carroll
PF - Serge Ibaka
C - Jonas Valanciunas