The Toronto Raptors are no longer undefeated at home.
Led by Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat defeated the Raptors in overtime by a final score of 121-110 . Butler finished with a 22-point, 13-rebound, 12-assist triple-double while Duncan Robinson (22), Bam Adebayo (18), Justise Winslow (17) and Kelly Olynyk (16) each scored double figures for the Heat.
It was an off-night for Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, who combined to score 34 points on 10-for-30 shooting from the field. Kyle Lowry also struggled in his first game in nearly a month - more on him below.
For more on the game, here are some takeaways...
Kyle Lowy returns
After missing 11 straight games with a fracture in his left thumb, Lowry returned against the Heat. He replaced Norman Powell in the starting lineup and played 40 minutes, the second-most on the team behind VanVleet.
It was a tough game overall for Lowry. He missed 16 of his 18 field goal attempts, 11 of which came from the 3-point line. His first basket of the game came at the 8:40 mark of the fourth quarter, when he put back a shot that was blocked by Heat guard Kendrick Nunn.
Many of Lowry's missed shots were makeable, he just couldn't knock them down. He still finished with 12 points with the bulk of his scoring coming from the free throw line, where he was a perfect 8-for-8.
Lowry was still able to make an impact despite not being able to hit a shot. In addition to six rebounds, he dished out a team-high 11 assists. He was back to his usual ways in that regard, pushing the pace in transition and finding open teammates when the Heat collapsed on his drives, all while committing only one turnover.
Fasten Seatbelt sign: ON pic.twitter.com/9GNxLgzzyH- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 4, 2019
Lowry also made a couple of big plays defensively. He came away with only one steal, but he had a couple of deflections down the stretch and drew a charge on Nunn in overtime when the Raptors were in desperate need of a stop.
It's not a surprise that Lowry has some rust to shake off seeing as he was sidelined for a month. The Raptors can only hope he'll find the touch sooner rather than later with matchups against the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers coming later this week.
Norman Powell comes up big off the bench
It was Powell, not OG Anunoby, who closed the game at small forward for the Raptors.
Powell wasn't much of a factor in the first half, but he was the difference-maker in the second half for the Raptors. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter alone, finishing with a team-high 23 for the game.
Powell even hit two huge shots down the stretch to help the Raptors force overtime.
First, he hit a 3-pointer with under two minutes to play in regulation to cut the Heat's lead to four points.
Big bucket Powell pic.twitter.com/uQI9HeNspf- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 4, 2019
Powell then hit another 3-pointer with under a minute to play to put the Raptors ahead by one point, giving them their first lead since the first quarter.
BIG SHOT NORM pic.twitter.com/WCAltCyml0- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 4, 2019
It wasn't enough for the Raptors to get the win, but it was encouraging to see Powell play well in his first game coming off the bench in nearly a month.
Powell entered Wednesday's game averaging 15.8 points per game as a starter this season compared to 8.8 points per game as a reserve.
A struggle for Pascal Siakam
Siakam had one of his worst games of the season.
The Heat limited Siakam to 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting from the field, including 0-for-2 from 3-point range. He wasn't his normal self, largely because of Heat centre Bam Adebayo.
Adebayo drew the primary assignment on Siakam and did as good of a job of him as anyone has this season. Adebayo is unique in that he's built like a centre at 6-foot-9 and 255 pounds but he has the speed and athleticism of a forward. The combination allows him to guard three positions, sometimes four depending on the matchup.
Adebayo's versatility showed on possessions like this, as Siakam wasn't able shoot over him or blow by him:
Absolute 🔒down by @Bam1of1 💨🏀 pic.twitter.com/ODriIPZFAj- Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 4, 2019
As a result, Siakam was practically invisible down the stretch. He attempted only one shot in the fourth quarter, which was blocked by Derrick Jones Jr. He didn't attempt a single shot in overtime, when the Heat outscored the Raptors 13-2.
There have been games this season where Siakam has continued to be aggressive even when he doesn't have it going. Wednesday's loss to the Heat was not one of those games.
The Jimmy Butler show
This is why the Heat signed Butler.
Not only did he record his fifth career triple-double - his first since leaving the Chicago Bulls - Butler took over in overtime by scoring the Heat's first eight points. He made an and-one jump shot over Marc Gasol to open the period, followed by a tough pull-up 3-pointer and a dunk in transition, all within the first minute of overtime.
That run put the Heat ahead 115-108, effectively ending the game.
Already got a triple-double now taking over overtime.@JimmyButler you're a real 1. pic.twitter.com/o5eDJFP1mG- Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 4, 2019
Thanks to Butler, the Heat are now 15-5, tying them with the Raptors for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
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