Toronto Star Classroom Connection

Inconsistent play allows ailing Heat to take win


The opening montage of the Raptors 2023-24 lowlight film has been created. In the first six minutes of the third quarter against Miami on Wednesday, the Raptors had seven turnovers, zero points, saw a twopoint halftime lead turn into a 14point deficit and if there’s anything more ghastly coming, no one wants to witness it.

That the Raptors somehow clawed their way back into the game — tying it early in the fourth quarter and down only three with about four minutes left — only underscored the overall absurdity of the night and their own maddening inconsistency.

It will ultimately go down as another game that got away from the Raptors — a 112-103 loss to a Miami team without Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Alonzo Highsmith — and another example of some Raptors showing up and others disappearing.

Pascal Siakam had 30 points, while OG Anunoby had 23 points and a career-high six assists and Gary Trent Jr. had 15 off the bench.

But Scottie Barnes was a nonfactor, Jakob Poeltl struggled and Dennis Schröder suffered through a tough shooting night.

It wasn’t anything special that the Heat did other than take advantage of Toronto’s largesse and ineptitude at the start of each half.

Nothing the mercurial Raptors did came as any surprise to Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. He’d done his homework, on Toronto specifically and the league as a whole.

“I think it’s a matter of what they’ve been talking about is consistency,” he said of the Raptors. “I think there’s a lot of teams kind of in that similar space where it depends on what night you catch them.

Toronto gave up 22 points in the first six minutes of the opening quarter and fell behind by 15. They shrugged off a terrible start and took a 66-64 lead at halftime.

That evaporated quickly — Miami started the second half on a16-0 run — but was just indicative of the way Toronto performed all night.





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