Records: Raptors (16-4); Heat (7-11)
Where to Watch
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Following a four-game road trip in which they went 3-1, the Raptors returned to Toronto on Friday and took care of business against the Washington Wizards.
Led by Kawhi Leonard‘s 27 points and 10 rebounds, the Raptors came away with the wire-to-wire victory, beating their Eastern Conference rival by a final score of 125-107 to record their fourth win in a row.
The Raptors got off to a hot start against the Wizards with 38 points in the first quarter and got some fantastic production from their second unit the rest of the way. Fred VanVleet continued his recent strong play with 13 points and seven assists off the bench and OG Anunoby returned from injury in a big way, scoring 15 points in 19 minutes of action.
Anunoby drained three 3-pointers, tying him with Kyle Lowry and VanVleet for most in the game. The Raptors as a team caught fire from distance, making a season-high 17 triples on 39 attempts (43.6 percent).
3-point shooting has been a theme in Toronto’s wins and losses so far this season. In their 16 wins, they’ve made 36.9 percent of their 3-point attempts. In their four losses, that number has fallen to 24.5 percent.
That makes Toronto’s matchup with Miami particularly interesting. Not only are the Heat one of the better defensive teams in the league, ranking eighth in defensive rating through 18 games, they consistently rank near the bottom of the league in how many 3-pointers they give up on a nightly basis.
If they can keep the Raptors off the 3-point line on Sunday, the Heat could find themselves in position to slow down the hottest team in the league.
The Heat will also have to get it done offensively to pull off the upset, as they currently rank 25th in the league with an offensive rating of 105.1. Josh Richardson is having a breakout season with 21.1 points per game, but the Heat have dealt with a number of injuries to key players, such as Goran Dragic, who has missed three straight games with a knee injury, James Johnson, who has appeared in only three games this season, and Wayne Ellington, who missed the team’s first seven games with an ankle injury.
Johnson and Ellington will play against the Raptors, but Dragic remains out. Miami will also be without Dion Waiters (ankle) and Tyler Johnson (hamstring).
Last Time They Played
Date: April 11, 2018
Score: Raptors 109, Heat 116 (OT)
Heat: Wayne Ellington – 32 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Raptors: Kyle Lowry – 28 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists