15 straight losses to this Miami Heat team.
With Ray Allen, Greg Oden, and Dwayne Wade all sitting out due to injury, this was predicted to be the Raptors’ best chance of finally beating Miami.
They came close, but in the end some mental lapses on both ends on the floor, coupled with a monstrous outing from King James, saw the Raptors fall to the defending champions.
Quick Recap: Raptors 83 – 93 Heat
— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) March 31, 2014
PatMan was a bit rusty as expected. He missed his first shot from the right pocket, and on the ensuing possession, he was called for a blocking foul trying to take a charge on Lebron James.
Patterson went 1-4 in just 8 minutes. Clearly Dwane Casey is going to ease him into the line-up slowly, so just the fact that he’s back into the rotation is positive for the Raptors.
Both teams were trading baskets for the entirety of the first quarter. The Raptors – despite shooting 55.8% in the opening frame – found themselves down 24-23 to end the quarter.
However, at one point, the lack of depth tonight for the Heat really showed. Lebron James hit the bench for a breather in the second quarter, and the Raptors – led by a few stellar offensive plays by DeMar – went on a push to build themselves a 10-point cushion.
But the Heat checked Lebron back in, and consequently went on a 22-9 run to finish the half with a 54-51 lead.
Miami continued to push their lead in the third, going up by as many as 14.
The Raptors fought back and scored 8 straight points – 6 of which came from Grievis Vasquez – to cut the lead to 6 (71-65).
The lead was 74-65 for Miami after three.
Again, the Raptors clawed their way back to just three points thanks to some big shots from Vasquez and Steve Novak who finished the game with 17 and 13 points respectively.
That’s about as close as the Raptors would come though. Chris Anderson was destroying the Raptors inside (13 points, 5-5 FG, 7 rebounds), and Lebron James went off for 30 points.
Chris Bosh added 18.
The Raptors got to the line just 10 times tonight.
Dwane Casey had some of his infamous bizzare rotations tonight. With Kyle Lowry out (he left the game in the fourth quarter due to a sore knee and did not return), Casey opted to go with a double PG line-up of Vasquez – De Colo. That tandem was getting abused defensively; all in the meanwhile Landry Field and Terrence Ross – the Raptors’ best wing defenders – were on the bench.
Apart from a brief spell in the first half, DeRozan was non-existent.
For the Raptors, losing in Miami on the 2nd night of a back-to-back is not the end of the World; but the biggest concern will be the health of Kyle Lowry.
Next up: Vs. Houston on Wednesday.