Barnes has 22, career-high 12 assists, as Raptors beat Heat
TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored 26 points, Scottie Barnes had 22 points and a career-high 12 assists and the Toronto Raptors beat the Miami Heat 106-92 on Tuesday night.
O.G. Anunoby scored 22 points, and Precious Achiuwa and Fred VanVleet each had 12 as Toronto won for the 10th time in 11 home games.
The ninth-place Raptors evened their record at 38-38, reaching .500 for the first time since they were 13-13 on Dec. 9.
“We need every game right now,” Barnes said. “It’s going to be close but we need every game, and every game is important for us.”
Miami played without leading scorer Jimmy Butler, who sat because of a sore neck.
Knocked out of the sixth spot by Sunday’s 129-100 home loss to Brooklyn, the Heat fell a half-game behind the Nets. Atlanta and Toronto are two games behind Miami.
“Every loss right now is tough,” Heat guard Victor Oladipo said. “Obviously it’s a tight situation in the race in the East. Every loss is tough, but it’s about figuring it out so we’ve just got to figure it out.”
Miami won’t have long to dwell on this one. The Heat visit the Knicks on Wednesday night.
“We all feel a certain way about this but we’re going to regroup,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve got 24 hours, we get to play in Madison Square Garden. That’s the only thing we’re thinking about right now.”
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Toronto outscored the Heat and 23-10 on fast-break points and 62-36 on points in the paint.
“I don’t have an answer for that,” an agitated Spoelstra said. “For four and half months of this season we were the very best in the league at protecting the paint. Since All-Star break we haven’t done what we were able to do better than anybody.”
Tyler Herro scored 33 points and Bam Adebayo had 21 points and 12 rebounds as Miami lost its second straight. The Heat are 15-22 on the road.
Former Raptor Kyle Lowry had six points and five rebounds in 24 minutes. The sellout crowd of 19,800 responded with a warm ovation when Lowry checked in to start the second quarter.
Toronto won three of four against Miami, winning the season series for the first time since a 4-0 sweep in 2018-19.
Miami jumped out to a 14-4 lead but Toronto battled back to lead 24-23 after one. Barnes scored 12 points in the opening quarter.
Herro scored 11 points in the second but Barnes and Siakam each had six to give the Raptors a 53-47 halftime lead. Toronto took an 84-67 lead to the fourth.
Heat: Shot 18 for 19 at the free throw line. Adebayo was 7 for 8, missing in the fourth quarter. … Herro had six of Miami’s 18 assists.
Raptors: Barnes had seven rebounds. … G Gary Trent Jr. (right elbow) sat for a fourth straight game. … G Will Barton (left ankle) was not available. Barton left injured in Sunday’s win over Washington. … Shot 0 for 9 from 3-point range in the first quarter and 1 for 16 in the first half. Toronto missed its first 10 attempts before Anunoby connected in the second. … Jakob Poeltl had 10 rebounds, while Siakam and Achiuwa each had nine.
Heat C Cody Zeller returned after missing the past six games because of a broken nose. Wearing a mask, Zeller scored six points and had seven rebounds.
“I felt fine,” Zeller said. “I did get hit, just in the mask, but it didn’t hurt. It did its job. It felt good to be back.”
The Raptors are 8-0 this season when holding opponents below 100 points.
Heat: Visit New York on Wednesday.
Raptors: Begin a five-game road trip at Philadelphia on Friday.
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