The Toronto Raptors narrowly edged the Miami Heat in overtime and escaped with a 117-109 win. The Heat, who are scrapping for a playoff position, gave the Raptors a tough fight.
Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell poured in 23 points each to Toronto’s victory while Kawhi Leonard added another 22 points. The Raptors spoiled Dwyane Wade’s final appearance in Toronto before his retirement. Wade, 37, led the Heat with 21 points, including four three-pointers from downtown.
“Being that young and having to guard Wade and LeBron [James], it got me to where I am today.”
The Raptors and Heat began the game fighting neck and neck until Miami started pulling away in the second quarter. As soon as Wade checked in the game, fans in the Scotiabank Arena gave Wade a standing ovation. By the third quarter, Toronto focussed on playing stronger defense, especially on Wade. The Raptors and Heat were trading the lead throughout the third and fourth quarter until both teams were tied at 103 points. Kawhi Leonard shot the ball with thirteen seconds left on the clock, but his shot bounced off the rim. The Raptors had a strong start for overtime, sinking fourteen points while Miami only sunk six.
With Wade making his final trip around the league, the Heat have been exchanging Wade’s jersey with someone from the opposing team. Leonard, small forward, traded his jersey for the Hall of Fame player’s jersey.
“I’ve said this before just going through those championship series and facing him and that Miami Heat team is the greatest team I have ever played,” Leonard explains admiringly. “Being that young and having to guard Wade and LeBron [James], it got me to where I am today. Losing and then coming back and winning just helped me out.” Leonard further explains.
The much-anticipated NBA playoffs will begin next weekend, but the Raptors will first play their final game in the regular season against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.