Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors (-4.5, 188)
Heat lead series 1-0
The Toronto Raptors have been waiting for their All-Star backcourt to step up in the postseason, and aside from one moment in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, they are still waiting. The Raptors will try to get more out of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan and even the series when they host the Miami Heat in Game 2 on Thursday.
DeRozan shot 31.9 percent from the floor in a seven-game victory over the Indiana Pacers in the first round and went 9-of-22 from the floor on Tuesday while Lowry has been even worse, shooting 31.6 percent against the Pacers and slumping to 3-of-13 in Game 1 against the Heat. “I’m trying to get my touch back. I don’t know where it’s at,” Lowry told reporters. “It’s kind of mind-boggling right now, and it’s frustrating, but I’m not going to shy away from the criticism or anything. I’m going to continue to be aggressive and take shots.” The Miami backcourt carried the team through the final two games of its first-round series against the Charlotte Hornets and stepped up again against Toronto with a combined 50 points from Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade. Wade, who picked up his 100th career playoff victory with the 102-96 overtime triumph, scored seven of his 24 points in the extra period and stole the ball from DeRozan with four seconds left to seal the win.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: The Raptors opened as 4.5-point favorites for Game 2 after dropping the opener Tuesday night. The total opened at 188.5 and came down a point to 187.5 by Wednesday evening. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE HEAT (53-37, 48-41-1 ATS, 37-52-1 O/U): Miami squandered a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter before regrouping for overtime and credited injured forward Chris Bosh for keeping the team focused at the start of the extra period. “(Bosh) was huge in that timeout,” Dragic told reporters. “When (Lowry) hit that shot, most other teams would think it’s over. We didn’t. We kind of (flipped) the switch and tried to make something positive from that. (Bosh) said, ‘OK, it’s our first game. We’re playing in a hostile environment. We still have five minutes to go, and we’re in a good position.’” Bosh is reportedly in a dispute with the Heat over his medical condition, with the team exercising caution and keeping him off the floor against his wishes.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (60-30, 47-43 ATS, 44-45-1 O/U): Lowry went from the high of sending the game into overtime with a halfcourt buzzer-beater to missing his only shot in overtime as Toronto fell. “I have but not at this time, so that’s what’s frustrating,” Lowry told reporters when asked if he has been in shooting slumps like this before. “In the playoffs, all eyes are on you. It sucks to be playing this bad with all eyes on me. I know I’m better than this, so I have to pick this (stuff) up.” Lowry has not shot better than 38.1 percent in any of his eight games this postseason and stayed in the gym after finishing up with his media responsibilities on Tuesday to shoot jumpers.
* Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Raptors are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
* Under is 6-1 in Heat last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
* Over is 4-1 in Raptors last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Heat are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Toronto.
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