The Miami Heat fell to the Toronto Raptors in overtime last night 112-104. The Heat tied the game at 97 with 3 seconds left after Luol Deng nailed a corner 3. The Heat had a huge game from Joe Johnson, who poured in 28 points after Dwyane Wade made the decision about an hour before tip-off that he would not play due to a thigh bruise. In Wade’s absence, Miami played very well and showed that they are a very deep team capable of competing with the league’s best teams.
So what went wrong for the Heat? First off, they Raptors took 38 free throws, including 15 from Demar DeRozan. He was a big problem for the Heat as he poured in 38 big points. Here were my keys to the game:
- Attack Lowry and DeRozan: Dragic did a great job of attacking Lowry, but his shots just were not falling (5-18 FG). Lowry, though, did not have a big game either with only 16 points and only 2-8 from downtown. As for the other guard battle, DeRozan did not have to work too much on defense since Justise Winslow is not a big offensive threat. With that said, DeRozan was able to constantly attack on offense and get to the foul line. Miami did an OK job here.
- Take out the trash: The Raptors only had 7 offensive rebounds, while Miami had 16. The Heat did a good job of holding them to one shot, but it was the fouls that hurt them.
- Turn up the Heat: Miami forced Toronto to meet their season average in turnovers with 13, but did cause Lowry into 4 and DeRozan into 3. The stat I don’t like is the 15 points off those turnovers. The Heat needed to capitalize on those since the Raptors are good at taking care of the ball.
Miami played very well the entire game, but a flurry of fouls in the middle of overtime allowed the Raptors to score 7 unanswered points, which put the game away. In the end, a good overall performance from Miami, and it looks to bode well for them heading into the playoffs, especially if they get Chris Bosh by then.