Heat hold off Raptors for 112-103 victory

TORONTO – The Toronto Raptors put themselves in holes they just couldn’t dig out of Wednesday night. And head coach Darko Rajakovic said discipline, or a lack thereof, was a factor.

Caleb Martin had 24 points and 12 rebounds as the Miami Heat pulled out a 112-103 win over the Raptors. Toronto fell behind 15-4 to start the game, and after taking a two-point lead into halftime, got snuffed with a 16-0 Miami run to start the third quarter.

“I thought that our discipline was not where it needs to be tonight,” Rajakovic said. “On offensive end as well, we went away in the second half of finding open man and finding early passes.

“Defensively as well, we just did not do what we’re supposed to do there. So definitely it’s concerning, it’s definitely something that we’re going to look at the film and use the day tomorrow to … talk about it, practice and try to get better from this.”

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Toronto tied the contest early in the fourth and was down three with just under four minutes left. But the Heat used a 10-0 run and a 9-2 run that restored their double-digit lead to close it out.

“First of all, I got to do a better job of coaching and maybe if there is any grey area for guys, to clear that up,” Rajakovic said. “But everything starts on the ball.

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“I thought a lot of times we got beat way too easily on the ball and once you get in a scramble there it’s a completely different mode. We got to do a better job on the ball, guarding, staying in front of the ball and trusting our shifts.”

Duncan Robinson had 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for Miami (12-9). The Heat were missing all-star centre Bam Adebayo (left hip contusion) and leading scorer Tyler Herro (right ankle sprain).

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“We have a great team, a great group,” said former Raptor Kyle Lowry. “We have a closer in Jimmy Butler, he can get in the paint and make plays and Duncan Robinson stepped up as always.

“It’s next man up. We have that type of team where things aren’t always going to go correctly all the time, but we try to execute what we can execute.”

Pascal Siakam scored 30 points for Toronto (9-12), which has lost four of its last five games. O.G. Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. chipped in 23 and 15 points, respectively.

Miami went 5-of-7 from three-point range to take a 15-4 edge in the opening 4:21 of the contest before closing the frame ahead 37-32.

Siakam’s three with 2:48 remaining in the second quarter gave the Raptors their first lead, 60-57, since the game’s opening basket. Toronto was up 66-64 at the half.

Miami restored its advantage with a 16-0 run in the opening 6:04 of the third quarter. Toronto committed seven turnovers in that span alone.

“It’s pretty frustrating,” Anunoby said of the bad starts to the first and third quarters.

Trent hit back-to-back threes to bring Toronto within three with 34.1 seconds left, and the Heat held an 87-84 lead at the buzzer.

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After Scottie Barnes tied the game 2:19 into the fourth quarter, Miami immediately answered with a 10-0 run.

Barnes then trimmed the deficit to 97-94 with 3:56 left behind a personal 5-0 run. But a 9-2 run between Duncan Robinson and Orlando Robinson put the Heat ahead for good with 1:43 remaining.


Lowry is in the last of a three-year deal with Miami and currently in his 18th NBA season. While he doesn’t plan to retire just yet, he does intend to do so as a Raptor when the time comes.

“I’m definitely retiring as a Raptor,” he said earlier Wednesday. “That’s something I’ve said since I left here. I will sign that (one) day contract and I will retire as a Toronto Raptor. That’s just how it’s going to be. Unless I die before that.”

The 37-year-old guard played for Toronto from 2012-2021, and played a key role in the team’s title run in 2019. Lowry made six all-star teams and was named to the all-NBA third team in 2016 during his time north of the border.


The Raptors head to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Friday.

The Heat head home for a Friday tilt against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2023.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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