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Apr 12, 2024 10:39 pm

Playoff-bound Heat overwhelm Raptors from start to finish

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Nikola Jovic scored 22 points and Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 20 points and nine assists off the bench to help the Miami Heat notch a 125-103 victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

Bam Adebayo scored 19 points and Tyler Herro added 17 as the Heat (45-36) won for the sixth time in their past nine games. Jimmy Butler had 14 points and seven assists, and Kevin Love added 14 points and eight rebounds for Miami.

RJ Barrett scored 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting and collected 11 rebounds for the Raptors (25-56), who have lost three straight games and 18 of their past 20.

The Heat reside in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with one game remaining but still have a chance at a top-six playoff berth.

Miami is one game behind the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers in the battle for the final two postseason spots. The other two teams will play in the play-in tournament.

The Heat and Raptors play again Sunday in the regular-season finale in Miami.

The Heat never trailed while making 52.3 percent of their attempts, including 17 of 41 (41.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Immanuel Quickley scored 15 points and Bruce Brown added 14 for Toronto, which knocked down 48.1 percent of its shots and made 10 of 31 from behind the arc.

Miami led 73-52 early in the third quarter after Butler’s layup but Toronto later cut its deficit to 10 with 2:36 remaining.

The Heat closed the period with a 10-2 spurt and Herro scored the final five to give Miami a 92-75 lead entering the final stanza.

The Heat later pushed the lead to 21 again when Delon Wright drained a 3-pointer with 9:03 left.

A layup by Wright made it 115-90 with 5:19 remaining and Miami cruised to the finish.

Adebayo scored 14 first-half points as the Heat held a 66-50 halftime lead. Barrett scored 14 in the half for the Raptors.

Toronto trailed 33-22 after the opening quarter but moved within 40-34 on Brown’s trey with 8:27 remaining in the half.

Miami answered with a 10-2 burst, ending with Adebayo’s dunk for a 14-point advantage with 6:12 left. Another dunk by Adebayo made the margin 64-45 with 50 seconds left before the Heat settled for the 16-point halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

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