Heat travel north to battle Raptors
(Sports Network) – A battle of division leaders takes place tonight, as the
Miami Heat open a three-game road trip against the Toronto Raptors at the Air
Miami is a half game ahead of the Washington Wizards for the top spot in the
Southeast Division and third overall in the Eastern Conference standings.
Miami put the brakes on a two-game losing streak with Monday’s 106-89
pummeling of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
Shaquille O’Neal had 22 points and 11 rebounds, while James Posey added 19
points for Miami, which will try to build on its 14-20 road record this season
in Toronto. O’Neal moved into 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list
with his effort against the Hawks.
The Heat will also visit Minnesota and Detroit on the current road trip.
Meanwhile, Toronto has lost three of its last five games and had a two-game
winning streak stopped with Monday’s 95-87 setback to the Boston Celtics at TD
T.J. Ford scored 28 points and dished out nine assists before fouling out for
the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, who had won six of eight games coming
in. Anthony Parker had 16 points and Chris Bosh finished with 15 points and 11
boards in the loss.
The Raptors, who are six games ahead of New Jersey in the division and fourth
in the East, own a 25-10 record at the Air Canada Centre this season. In
injury news for Toronto, guard Juan Dixon (neck) is questionable for
Wednesday’s game against Miami.
Wednesday’s game between Miami and Toronto is the second of three matchups
this season. The Heat won the first meeting by a 99-77 score on December 11 at
AmericanAirlines Arena. Both teams will meet again on April 3 in South Beach.
Miami has won four straight and seven of the last eight meetings. It has also
won six of seven and seven of its last 11 trips to Toronto.