After coming up short in Game One, the Toronto Raptors knew Game Two was pivotal for many reasons; mainly that they did not want to be facing an 0-2 deficit heading to South Florida for Game Three and Game Four vs. the Miami Heat.
Toronto started the game with a lot of energy, on both ends of the floor, which resulted in a 29-19 lead for the Raptors after the first quarter. Toronto scored 14 points on a surprisingly high 11 turnovers committed by the Miami Heat. Miami improved their fortunes in the second quarter, posting 22 points in the frame while holding the Raptors to 19. The Raptors took a 48-41 lead into halftime, knowing they would have to play at a high level on both ends of the floor, especially defensively in order to hold off the veteran savvy Heat basketball club.
With 8:30 remaining in the third quarter, James Johnson came into the game for Norman Powell, and saw his first (meaningful) minutes of these 2016 NBA Playoffs. Johnson only played five minutes, but attempted to provide a defensive ‘one on one’ presence that the Raptors desperately needed as the Heat’s offense started rolling in the third quarter after a solid second quarter as well. Despite Coach Casey’s attempt to give the Raptors’ lineup a spark, they only shot 20% in the quarter, on 6-20 shooting. The Heat, on the other hand, made 11 of their 16 shots, a ‘white hot’ 69% for the quarter, led by Joe Johnson and Dwyane Wade who combined for 17 points in the quarter on 8 of 11 shooting.
Miami’s hot hand resulted in the Heat taking a 65-63 lead into the fourth quarter. The Raptors had to battle to hold off the Heat. Jonas Valanciunas took charge in the fourth quarter for Toronto; scoring nine points on 4-5 shooting, as well as pulling down five rebounds (three on the offensive glass), while collecting two steals.
Miami point guard Goran Dragic hit a huge three-point shot to tie the game at 86-86 with 10.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Toronto had the final possession and were determined to leave no time left on the clock, but all they managed was a fadeaway three-point shot by Kyle Lowry that fell short as time expired.
In overtime, the Raptors came out of the gate flying, clicking on all cylinders, powered by Jonas Valanciunas’ effort on both ends of the floor. Toronto scored the first six points in overtime, and outscored the Heat 10-6 in overtime overall to grab the win in Game Two, 96-92, tying the series at 1-1.
The Raptors shot an extremely uncharacteristic low percentage from the free throw line in the game, making just 14 of their 26 free throw attempts (54%) as a team. Toronto overcame this in part by scoring 24 points from 21 Miami turnovers in the game.
Game Three will be played in Miami on Saturday, May 7th, tipoff 5pm ET, at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Notable Raptors stat lines:
DeMarre Carroll – 21 points, five rebounds, four steals
Jonas Valanciunas – 15 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, three steals, one block
DeMar DeRozan – 20 points (9-24 shooting), eight rebounds, three steals
Kyle Lowry – 18 points (7-22 shooting), four rebounds, six assists, three steals
Cory Joseph – Eight points, two rebounds, four assists
Terrence Ross – Ten points, two rebounds, one steal
Notable Heat stat lines:
(All five Heat starters reached double digit scoring)
Joe Johnson – 17 points, five rebounds, four assists
Luol Deng – 12 points, six rebounds, two steals, one block
Hassan Whiteside – 13 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, three blocks
Dwyane Wade – 17 points, six rebounds, three assists
Goran Dragic – 20 points, four rebounds, four assists, one block
Postgame Media Sessions:
Kyle Lowry talks about the Raptors getting the win in Game 2 vs. the Heat
DeMar DeRozan & Kyle Lowry:
Postgame Locker Room Reactions: