Leonard scores 29 points as Raptors win 5th straight game
Kawhi Leonard delivered his sixth double-double for the surging Toronto Raptors,
Leonard scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors beat the visiting Miami Heat 125-115 for their fifth win in a row.
There were also double-doubles from Jonas Valanciunas (17 points and 10 rebounds) and Kyle Lowry (12 points and 10 assists).
Pascal Siakam added 21 points. Fred VanVleet, CJ Miles and Delon Wright each scored 10.
Dwyane Wade scored a season-best 35 points off the bench for the Heat. They have now lost seven of their past nine games. Bam Adebayo added a double-double with 16 points and 21 rebounds. Josh Richardson scored 19 points. Meanwhile, Kelly Olynyk had 11 and Wayne Ellington 10.
The Raptors led by as many as 26 points during the third quarter. However, the Heat twice cut the deficit to eight on Wade’s three-pointers early in the fourth.
They could get no closer than those eight points. Lowry knocked down a 32-foot three-pointer with 4:54 to play, to extend the lead to 15.
Richardson’s three-pointer with 19 seconds to play cut the margin to 10 as the Raptors notched their 17th win of the season to extend their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference.
After going 421 games without one, Leonard picked up the first regular-season technical foul of his career. Arguing a non-call on his drive to the basket late in the third quarter.
“It was just kind of getting out of hand with some of the calls out there,” Leonard said. “They’re doing the best job they can but some of the calls tonight, I felt like I got fouled pretty hard.”
Leonard was asked whether he thought his outburst was deserving of a technical foul.
“Definitely,” he said. “You work so hard in this game to try and win a game or score and when you don’t get your calls, it’s very difficult when someone blatantly fouls you.”
Additionally, the Raptors are now 11-0 against teams with losing records.
Ahead 63-54 at halftime, Toronto opened the third quarter with an 11-3 spurt. This led to a Miami timeout. The Raptors’ onslaught continued when play resumed. Spoelstra was forced to call time again with 7:11 remaining in the period, with his team trailing 88-62.
“That beginning of the third quarter was very uninspiring,” Spoelstra said. “Two timeouts. I looked up and it’s 26. I was shocked, I couldn’t believe how fast it went.”
Miami recovered before the end of the quarter, but trailed 101-89 heading into the fourth.
The Heat cut the gap to eight points in the final quarter but Toronto used a 7-0 spurt to pull away for good. This sequence included a three-point play from Siakam and a long 3-pointer by Lowry with the shot clock running out.
“We got down early in the third quarter by too many points to try and come back on the road versus the best team in the Eastern Conference,” Wade said.
Leonard scored 11 points in the first as the Raptors led 36-29. The fifth straight game that the Raptors have been ahead at the end of the opening quarter. The Raptors are 13-1 when leading after 12 minutes.
Next up, the Raptors visit Memphis on Tuesday night.