Jimmy Butler notched another triple-double while the Miami Heat came back from a big deficit to take a late lead, but the Toronto Raptors emerged victorious late Saturday night in a 124-120 decision in triple overtime.
Toronto held a 16-point advantage in the third quarter but Miami stormed back and were able to hold the Raptors to just 15 points in the fourth quarter. But it was Fred VanVleet, returning from a two-game absence due to knee soreness to score 19 points, who had the last laugh with two clutch 3-pointers in the third overtime to help Toronto put the game away. Despite just nine points from their bench, the Raptors got big time contributions from all of their starters. Gary Trent Jr. scored 33 points, Scottie Barnes had 22, Pascal Siakam notched 21, and OG Anunoby contributed 20.
It was a valiant effort on the second night of a back-to-back, with Butler filling up the box score with 37 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, but he took a pair of ill-advised shots and committed costly turnovers — which cost the Heat in regulation and in the first overtime period.
Gabe Vincent almost won the game at the end of the second overtime with an incredible 3-point shot that was nullified by an Erik Spoelstra timeout that stopped the clock with 1.7 seconds left. Tyler Herro also had a pair of chances to win it all, including potential game-winning shots during the second and third overtime periods that just didn’t go in.
Former Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was out for the seventh consecutive game, scoring as many points as Duncan Robinson did in 20 minutes of action in which he went 0-5 from 3-point territory. Adebayo had a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds as well as a pair of huge blocks during overtime. Robinson wasn’t the only Heat player to struggle from the field, with Herro scoring 13 points on 5-22 shooting and 3-14 from long distance. The trio of Butler, Herro and Adebayo combined for 16 of the team’s 23 turnovers.
The Heat continue to lead the Eastern Conference despite the loss, with Miami tied with the Chicago Bulls in the loss column but ahead of them in the standings with two extra wins. They have another back-to-back set, this time on the road, on Monday against the Boston Celtics and a rematch against the Raptors on Tuesday.