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Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard holds Big 3-led Heat team in high regards

Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard holds Big 3-led Heat team in high regards”

Kawhi Leonard had 22 points for Toronto, Serge Ibaka had 12 points while Marc Gasol had eight points and 10 rebounds.

An untimely whistle by an official led to a disjointed final sequence in regulation, and the Heat wound up losing 117-109 in overtime to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Back-to-back threes and a pair of free throws by Leonard sent the game into the final minute all tied up.

There isn't and hasn't been any concerns for the Raptors playoff future in some time.

Heat forward Justise Winslow said the team is not that far off.

Miami entered the game with their destiny still in their own hands, knowing that victories in their three final regular season fixtures would carry them into the postseason.

Wade, meanwhile, received a standing ovation when he came off the bench in the first quarter.

Toronto is heading to Minneapolis early Monday morning to avoid the expected rush of airport activity with the NCAA championship game scheduled for later that night so they will not practice on Monday. "Being that young and having to guard Wade and LeBron it got me to where I am today. We just have to stay together and focus on the next game".

Pascal Siakam matched Powell for the scoring lead with 23, but the offence was spread around nicely with four players - Siakam, Powell, Leonard and Danny Green all finished beyond the 20-point threshold.

Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and Johnson had 18 for the Heat. Heading into Sunday's schedule of games, just a game-and-a-half separated No. 6 through 9 in the East - Brooklyn, Orlando, Detroit and Miami.

Beyond his scoring, it was Powell's efficiency from the field, as he shot a flawless 7-for-7 from the field including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. I told my wife, I said, 'I need to do therapy, and we need to do a little bit'. The bench was -11 in the opening quarter and the Heat led by one, not ideal.

In a game with added importance for his team, Wade answered the call as he has done throughout his 16-year career.

The Heat led 26-25 after the first quarter and were up 57-50 at halftime. The Miami Heat ran out to a 13-2 run before Norman Powell began to inject some life into the Raptors. Down the stretch of the fourth quarter and in overtime, he knocked down a number of hard shots and had the ball in his hands in the game's most crucial moments.



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