RECAP: Jimmy Butler closes out Heat victory over Raptors

By Field Level Media
Feb 24, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) passes the ball around Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn (25) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler had 27 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals, leading the host Miami Heat to a 116-108 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

It was the fourth straight win for the Heat, who also got a big game from Bam Adebayo, who had 19 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, who had missed four straight games due to a sprained left thumb, returned from the injured list and had 24 points and eight assists. Toronto’s Fred VanVleet had 24 points and seven assists.

However, the Raptors lost their second straight game, a skid that had followed four consecutive victories.

Miami’s Goran Dragic, who had missed nine straight games due to an ankle injury, returned and scored 15 points off the bench.

The Heat were without Tyler Herro, Avery Bradley and Meyers Leonard.

Toronto, thanks to 9-for-14 3-point shooting and 12 points from Lowry, led 35-32 after the first quarter. The Raptors shot 60 percent overall.

However, Miami built a 15-point lead in the second quarter before settling for a 66-56 advantage at the break.

The Heat built their lead by attacking the rim. In the first half, they outscored the Raptors in the paint, 22-14, and they were also plus-six on the offensive glass.

Toronto came out hot in the third quarter, using a 12-2 run to tie the score, 68-68. But Miami responded, taking a 92-85 lead into the fourth.

VanVleet made a spectacular two-point shot to end the third quarter. He was knocked off the ball, hit the deck, got up, regained possession and hit an 18-footer at the buzzer.

Butler then took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 points. He also had a key assist that led to an Adebayo bucket with 32 seconds left, giving Miami a 114-106 lead.

For the game, Miami shot 46.3 percent from the floor, including 17-for-38 on 3-pointers (44.7 percent). Toronto shot 50 percent from the floor, including 20-for-44 on 3-pointers (45.5 percent).

Miami was also plus-seven on offensive rebounds, plus-10 on paint points and plus-11 on made free throws.

–Field Level Media