The Miami Heat used a big second half to turn the game into a blowout and turn away the visiting Toronto Raptors, 96-76 Sunday. Hassan Whiteside, who has now four double-doubles this season, had another big outing with 20 points, 11 rebounds plus a season-high 6 blocked shots.
The Heat’s starting backcourt of Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic both struggled, combining to shoot just 5-of-18 from the field for 14 points but Miami’s defense was excellent in the second half as the Heat limited the Raptors to just 29 second half points.
Chris Bosh had a game-high 23 points on 8-of-14 field goal shooting including 3 three-pointers.
Toronto had the lead after the first quarter, 24-22 and the first half, 47-44 but just couldn’t find their offense in the second half. Overall, the Canadian team shot just 28-of-71 from the field (39.4 percent) and 3-of-19 from the three-point line (15.8 percent).
Toronto usually outworks their opponents in the rebounding department but lost the battle of the boards, 48-38 and 13-7 on the offensive glass.
Jonas Valanciunas led the way for the losing side with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting and Kyle Lowry added 15 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists and DeMar DeRozan finished with 16 points but had 6 turnovers.
The Raptors now have dropped back-to-back games after opening the season at 5-0, the best start in franchise history. Toronto aims to get back in the win column with easy opponents in their next two outings, facing the New York Knicks on Tuesday and the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Heat avoided their first back-to-back defeats of the season with the victory. They alternated wins and losses this season for a 4-3 win-loss record and will continue a long seven-game homestand against the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday.