Heat blow past Raptors 125-103, remain alive for top-5 seed

Heat Raptors
(Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

In a must-win game Friday evening against the lowly Toronto Raptors, the Miami Heat took care of business, securing a 125-103 in the first of a home-home series between the two foes to close the regular season.

Each team’s motives were different; the Raptors, who drop to 25-56, needed to lose Friday evening to keep their top-6 protected pick while the Heat needed to win to avoid being locked up in the play-in.

After extending the lead to double figures to open the contest, the Heat used a 10-2 run to ultimately widen the Heat’s advantage to 20-plus points ahead of halftime. Though Toronto did fight back, trimming the deficit to 11 with five minutes left in the third quarter, but it did not crack single digits for the remainder of the contest.

Two players intertwined within the Heat’s future–Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez–blossomed, combining for 42 points on 16-of-33 shooting in their winning effort. Jovic led the Heat with 22 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal on 9-of-18 shooting, canning four of his 10 3-pointers. Jaquez tallied 20 points with a team-high nine assists, shooting 7-of-15 from the floor and 2-of-4 from distance.

Bam Adebayo tallied 19 points with six rebounds and three assists on 8-of-10 first half, playing only 25 minutes after a dominant opening half. Tyler Herro added 17 points while Jimmy Butler posted 14 points and seven assists on 5-of-7 shooting.

R.J. Barrett stood out most for Toronto, erupting for 35 points and 11 boards on 13-of-18 shooting. Immanuel Quickley had 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting while Bruce Brown tallied 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Though the most important development for Miami, outside of taking care of its own business, was getting the much-needed help leaguewide to maintain the possibility of avoiding the play-in.

H0w do Heat avoid play-in?

With wins by the Philadelphia 76ers (over the Orlando Magic) and Cleveland Cavaliers (over the Indiana Pacers), there’s still one game that separates the Magic, Pacers, 76ers and Heat with one game to go. Here are the games you need to pay attention to Sunday:

  • Atlanta Hawks @ Indiana Pacers
  • Milwaukee Bucks @ Orlando Magic
  • Brooklyn Nets @ Philadelphia 76ers

If Miami loses Sunday, they’re automatically the No. 8 seed; should they win, they would either the Bucks to beat Magic OR Brooklyn to beat Philadelphia to secure a No. 7 seed–the latter being far more unlikely than the former. To grab the No. 6 seed, it would need both upsets OR wins from both Milwaukee and Atlanta; and to potentially secure the No. 5, it needs Atlanta, Milwaukee and Brooklyn to win.

Perhaps the best-case scenario for Miami, should it not grab a top-6 seed, is Orlando, who would travel to Kaseya Center under this umbrella.

How do you think Sunday’s chaos shapes up? Let us know in the comments!

***

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates!

To check out our other content, click here.

Follow Hot Hot Hoops on Twitter/X here!

Follow Hot Hot Hoops on Instagram here!

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ManilaHeat

Oh man…the games are 1am here!!! For all east final 82nd game. And 3am for all west. So as we watch Heat vs Raps we might be tuning every now and then for the others lol that would be crazy 🤯

Go Heat!

ManilaHeat

Funny Heat still have a chance at the 5 seed. But yeah, realistically its gonna be 7-8. Rozier and Dunc might suit up for that play-in game and we get 7.

oregoner

I think the Heat blew their chance at a top-6 seed when they lost to Philly and Indy last week. Most likely they will end up in the play-in and that is what they deserve. It’s a bummer, because outside of Boston the East is wide open

ManilaHeat

Yep…or just could’ve won other games. Like that one pt loss vs Hawks, or two pt loss vs Wizards and NY. Well, lets just move forward, wait and see.

Big_guy305

We had losses like that last year, and the heat proved all of us wrong, so hopefully they can do the same this year ,and at least make it to 2nd round.

oregoner

I don’t blame a team for dropping random games midseason. It’s six straight months of 4 games per week.

But it’s a different story when we talk about winning big games. The Heat were in the 6-7-8 fight in the last weeks of the season with games aginst the other two teams. The Sixers won both and they’re in the drivers seat. The Pacers split and they’re in the middle. The Heat lost both and are in the 8-seed.

Much like the Heat have failed to close out games in the 4th quarter, they failed to close out a playoff seed in the last weeks of the season. Big guy is right, they did the same thing against the Nets in the regular season last year, then gave us magic in the playoffs. I just wonder how many times they can play with fire before they burn themselves.

Last edited 2 months ago by oregoner
ManilaHeat

Yeah ur right. Just that some games could’ve made the difference then again those Philly and Indy games I guess were that really matter.

SunManFromDogBone

Assuming everyone is healthy, can a 10 man rotation work during the playoffs?

NAME: PPG/RPG/APG – (240 MINUTES TOTAL)
Herro: 20.8/5.3/4.4 (35)
Butler: 20.9/5.3/5.0 (35)
Adebayo: 19.3/10.4/3.9 (35)
Rozier: 16.4/4.2/4.6 (30)
Robinson: 12.9/2.5/2.8 (20)
Jaquez: 11.8/3.8/2.6 (15)
Martin: 10.0/4.2/2.2 (20)
Love: 9.0/6.3/2.1 (15)
Jovic: 7.8/4.2/2.0 (20)
Highsmith: 6.2/3.2/1.1 (15)

ManilaHeat

Nice breakdown.

SunManFromDogBone

Thanks Manila. Tomorrow’s games should be interesting. Hope Miami wins and Indiana or Orlando loses.

oregoner

I think Duncan is out with an injury. I think Highsmith, Jaquez, and Jovic will be fighting it out for the last spots in the rotation, depending on matchups.

Reality Czech

I said a couple of weeks ago that I wouldn’t mind if they picked him. He has some flaws, but that size!

Max Pain

Realistically speaking it looks like the 8th spot for us.

The Bucks are probably going to lose to Orlando and the Pacers and 76ers are most likely going to win their final games.

People can say what ever they want about the Heat but the real reason why we are a play-in team is because of all the injuries.

The 5th most games missed due to injuries. The 4 that were worst than us all have losing records.

If we had remain as healthy as say the Celtics, Nuggets or the Thunder we would be challenging the Bucks for the 2nd seed.

But the injuries happened so it is what it is. 

When Terry and Duncan do return from injury they both should be coming off the bench.

No need to disrupt the current starting line-up.

All 5 of the current starters know each other pretty well, they’ve been together for a while now.

Plus Tyler and Terry don’t have much chemistry together, so it’s best to keep them separated.

All we can do from here is go all out and see where we end up in the play-offs.

15
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Scroll to Top