Raptors Blowout Undermanned Heat in Huge Bounce Back Performance
With the way Norman Powell was rolling right from the get-go, the Toronto Raptors didn’t need their All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry on Friday night.
The Miami Heat were fighting from behind nearly all game long.
In what was a complete 180 from Wednesday night’s performance, the Raptors put together a strong 48-minutes en route to a 101-81 victory. In need of a huge bounce back, the Raptors gave Nick Nurse exactly what he asked for prior to tip-off.
“There was a constant theme of a lot of things. We didn’t play hard enough. We didn’t play physical enough. Really poor communication. Really poor effort,” said Nurse. “It’s hard to figure out sometimes because we just came off the game [against Dallas on Monday] where we probably played harder than we’ve played all year with great defence and many people playing hard and many people contributing and guys covering up for each other all night long. That’s kind of what we’re used to. You can probably count on maybe two hands, maybe even one hand, where we don’t give an honest effort at that end.
“We’ll make some mistakes. Teams are good and all that kind of stuff. Normally you can walk out of there and say at least we were putting an effort out there. It’s too bad because I think we played really hard for about six- or seven-straight games. We were building and building and building and building, and it kind of culminated with that defensive effort against Dallas. And then there was just nothing there the other night. It’s hard to explain. It just happens. But it’s unacceptable.”
Powell led the way on Friday night with 23 points in spot start while OG Anunoby continued his recent string of strong play by adding 21 points of his own. Pascal Siakam chipped in with a 15 point, 14 rebound triple-double on a night in which Lowry was forced to sit out with a toe infection.
On the Heat side, the tale of the injuries continued as Jimmy Butler, Avery Bradley, and Tyler Herro were all missing in action as they continued to nurse various nagging pains.
At 6-9, the Raptors will look to etch closer to .500 on Sunday when they take on the Indiana Pacers.