NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 29th (All times eastern)
Toronto Raptors (29-40) at Miami Heat (53-18), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat try to bounce back from an unlikely loss tonight when they welcome the Toronto Raptors to the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami has dropped two of its last three games on the heels of a 12-game winning streak. On Saturday the Heat lost a 94-92 contest at expansion Charlotte. Primoz Brezec scored 12 of his career-high 27 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bobcats.
Shaquille O'Neal collected 26 points and 16 rebounds to pace the Heat, who suffered their first loss to a Southeast Division team in 14 games this season one night after clinching the division title with a win over the Phoenix Suns.
Dwyane Wade added 19 points for Miami, but he made a mental mistake at the end of the game that cost the Heat a good chance for a tie.
With 4.1 seconds remaining, Wade grabbed the rebound of a Damon Jones three- point attempt. He was fouled and, after making the first three throw, missed the second try on purpose. The ball came right back to the second-year star, but he then made his crucial error. Instead of taking a short jumper for the tie, Wade inexplicably dribbled to the left corner and fired a three-point attempt that hit off the back of the rim as time expired.
Miami is currently 9 1/2 games ahead of second-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Heat, who have won a team-record 16 straight home games, will visit Indiana on Thursday.
Toronto, meanwhile, has long been absent from playoff contention. The Raptors have, however, split their last four games.
On Saturday, Chris Bosh finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds and Jalen Rose added 26 points to lead the Raptors to a 109-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. It was Bosh's 27th double-double of the season.
Morris Peterson netted 14 points and Rafer Alston chipped in 12 for the Raptors, who rebounded from Friday's loss in Philadelphia.
Toronto forward Donyell Marshall played just four minutes because of back spasms, and he is questionable for this evening.
The Raptors, who have lost four of their last five road games, will close a four-game trip on Wednesday in Orlando.
Miami is 2-1 against Toronto this season, having won the last two meetings. The Heat have won eight of the last 10 clashes overall.
Toronto has, however, won in their last two trips to the AmericanAirlines Arena.
03/29 10:09:58 ET