That’s what happened to Miami on Monday afternoon, as the Heat fell behind by that many in the third quarter, wiped out the deficit, took a lead in the fourth, but ultimately couldn’t close the deal against the Raptors. As a result, Miami is now 42-25 on the season, and just one game in front of Indiana for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings and two and a half behind third place Boston.
The game was there for the taking for Miami after being behind by double digits, as Tyler Herro scored off a Bam Adebayo assist with 4:36 to play. That pulled the Heat within two at 98-96. But Miami would not score again until a Jae Crowder triple made it 102-99 with 1:15 to play. Obviously, still nowhere near over at that point, but it feels like an opportunity was missed. Goran Dragic capitalized on a Fred VanVleet charge on the other end with an and-1 layup, but couldn’t convert the freebie with 41 seconds to go. It was a one point game at that point, and Miami induced the stop to get a chance to take the lead.
And then Dragic and Jimmy Butler couldn’t connect on a pass, sending it out of bounds (officially after a replay), and after Marc Gasol split two freebies for the Raps, Butler and Dragic had difficulties passing to each other again except the other way this time, and that was pretty much that.
Butler filled up the stat sheet like he does, getting 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Crowder added 16 points of his own plus six rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Dragic led Miami in scoring with 25 as six different Heat players hit double digits, while VanVleet had 36 to lead the way for Toronto.
Up Next: Would you believe that Miami somehow has a back-to-back in this restart? That’s so crazy! Why would you do that to them!? Anyway, the Heat get a chance to narrow that margin to Boston this evening with a 5:30pm CT start against the Celtics, and you can catch that broadcast on TNT.