Raptors visit Miami
(Sports Network) – The Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors open a three-
game road trip against the defending world champion Miami Heat tonight at
The Raptors are seven games ahead of the second place New Jersey Nets in the
Atlantic. Both teams have nine games remaining on the 2006-07 schedules.
Toronto enters tonight’s game on a three-game winning streak. Chris Bosh
posted 24 points and 16 rebounds, as the Raptors downed the Charlotte Bobcats,
107-94, on Sunday at Air Canada Centre to clinch a playoff berth.
Juan Dixon scored 15 points for the Raptors, who are the third seed in the
Eastern Conference playoff race. T.J. Ford had 11 points and eight assists,
while Anthony Parker and Jose Calderon both ended with 14 points for the
Raptors, who have won five of their last six games overall.
The Raptors are 14-22 on the road this season. They will visit the Orlando
Magic on Wednesday at Amway Arena and the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday at the
Miami is a half game behind division-leading Washington in the Southeast, and
has played one more game than the Wizards. The Heat are the sixth seed in the
East and would meet the Raptors in the opening round of the postseason if the
playoffs started today.
The Heat, who return home after going 1-2 on a three-game swing, try to get
back on the winning track this evening. Richard Hamilton paced a balanced
Detroit attack with 19 points as the Pistons edged Miami, 94-88, on Sunday at
The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Shaquille O’Neal tallied 23 points on 9-of-13 from the floor for the Heat, who
have dropped four of their last six games overall. Jason Williams tallied 21
points, while Udonis Haslem had 15 points and eight rebounds in defeat.
Miami is 24-12 at home this season. The Heat will visit the Cleveland
Cavaliers on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena and the Boston Celtics on Friday
at TD Banknorth Garden.
Forward Jason Kapono (high left ankle sprain/bone bruise) is questionable for
tonight’s contest. Kapono is averaging 11.1 points in 58 games for the Heat
this season. He last played on March 5th and has missed 14 straight contests.
This is the third and final meeting of the regular season between the clubs.
The teams split a pair of games, as both squads picked up a win at home.
Toronto has lost four straight after winning its last two at Miami.