Barnes double helps Raptors overcome Heat

TORONTO – Scottie Barnes had a brace, including a career-high assist, as the Toronto Raptors won 106-92 over the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Barnes had 22 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds as Toronto (38-38) won its third game in a row.

Pascal Siakam just missed his own brace with 26 points and 9 rebounds.

Tyler Herro scored 33 goals for Miami (40-36), the game without star striker Jimmy Butler, who missed the game because of a neck pain.

Bam Adebayo had a brace with 21 points and 12 rebounds and former Raptors defender Kyle Lowry had 6 points and 5 rebounds when coming off the bench for the Heat.

The Raptors are ninth in the packed Eastern standings, two games away from sixth place Miami.

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The sixth through 10th places in the convention will advance to the NBA’s post-season competition. The Heat is half a game away from the idle Brooklyn Nets.

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Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said before the game: “There are a lot of teams fighting for nine, 10, 11. “I guess 6-7 is a lot more meaningful.

“We are not completely in that battle. But we can.”

Barnes picked Victor Oladipo’s pocket and drove into the next game to make a breakthrough in the dying seconds of the first half to give Toronto a 24-23 lead after 12 minutes. Barnes led all scorers with 12 points in the opening half.

Another Barnes pitch with a 3:51 score remaining in the half gave the Raptors a three-point lead and forced Miami to pause. Toronto overcame the Heat 10-7 as the game resumed with a 53-47 lead at break.

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An early 11-1 scoreline in the third inning gave the Raptors a 16-point lead at 5:26 in the round. A drive by Toronto guard Fred VanVleet extended the lead to 19 and kept the 19,800 fans at Scotiabank Arena on their toes with 3:08 in the half. The Raptors took an 84-67 lead to enter the fourth inning.

Precious Achiuwa pulled three pointers in over a minute in the final round to improve Toronto’s shot from outside the arc to 5 to 28 overnight.

The Raptors’ previous low 3-pointer rate this season was 19.6% (9/46) in a 104-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on January 4.

Three straight points from Achiuwa and OG Anunoby and three late points from VanVleet helped Toronto avoid a worse shot rate from outside the arc, finishing at 22.2% (8/36).

HURT RAPTORS – The Raptors announced before the game that defenders Gary Trent Jr. (stiff right elbow) and Will Barton (left ankle sprain) as well as striker Joe Wieskamp (right hamstring strain) are not in the squad.

NEXT – The Raptors visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

Miami heads to Manhattan to face the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 28, 2023.

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