The other side of .500 will have to wait at least until Sunday night, against the emerging Cleveland Cavaliers.

Because prosperity has proven to have its limits so far this season for the Miami Heat.

At .500 for the first time after extending their winning streak to three with Monday night’s home victory over the Phoenix Suns, the Heat again find themselves south of that milepost, falling to 7-8 with Wednesday night’s 112-104 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.

With Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro out, the Heat lacked the firepower and power play to compete against the Raptors roster that also was shorthanded.

Not even an early spark produced from first-round pick Nikola Jovic could prevent the Heat’s road losing streak from reaching four, done in by a 21-0 third-quarter Toronto scoring surge.

On a night the Heat could have used the best of Jimmy Butler, they instead got 13 points from their leading man.

In his second return to Toronto, Kyle Lowry had 19 points for the Heat, who also got 20 from Max Strus, 16 from Gabe Vincent, 14 from Caleb Martin and 13 from Jovic, who made his first NBA start.

The Raptors were led by the season-high 32 points of O.G. Anunoby and 23 from Fred VanVleet.

The Heat’s four-game trip continues with a Friday night game against the Washington Wizards, the Sunday game in Cleveland and then a Monday night game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Five Degrees of Heat from Wednesday’s game:

1. Closing time: The Heat led 31-27 at the end of the first quarter and 60-54 at halftime, going into the fourth quarter down 84-79.

The Raptors then went up 10 with 7:58 to play, but the Heat crawled back within 102-100 with 3:52 to play on a Strus jumper, setting up yet another tight finish.

From there, a Chris Boucher dunk put Toronto up five with 2:03 left and a Boucher 3-pointer extending Toronto’s lead to 110-102 with 1:29 left.

The Heat closed with a small lineup, going without a center at the finish on a night they struggled badly on the boards and with second-chance points.

The Raptors outrebounded the Heat 42-23 and outscored them on second-chance points 26-5.

2. Worst of times: When Butler converted a dunk with 8:52 left in the third period, it gave the Heat a 70-69 lead.

They would not score again until 1:34 remained in the quarter, on a three-point play byVincent, with Toronto putting together a 21-0 …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Move over .500 will have to wait as shorthanded Heat fall 112-104 in Toronto

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