Barnes’s double-double leads Raptors past Heat 106-92 as Toronto gains ground in East

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TORONTO — Scottie Barnes had a double-double, including a career-high for assists, as the Toronto Raptors earned a 106-92 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Barnes had 22 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds as Toronto (38-38) won its third-straight game.

Pascal Siakam just missed out on a double-double of his own with 26 points and nine rebounds.

Tyler Herro scored 33 for Miami (40-36), which was without all-star forward Jimmy Butler, who missed the game with a sore neck.

Bam Adebayo had a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds and former Raptors guard Kyle Lowry had six points and five rebounds coming off the bench for the Heat.

Toronto now sit ninth in the tightly packed East standings, two games back of sixth-place Miami.

The sixth through 10th places in the conference advance to the play-in portion of the NBA’s post-season. The Heat are half a game back of the idle Brooklyn Nets.

“There are a ton of teams fighting for nine, 10, 11,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse before the game. “I guess the 6-7 battle has a lot more significance.

“We’re not quite in that battle. But we could be.”

Barnes picked Victor Oladipo’s pocket and drove to the next for a breakout slam dunk in the dying seconds of the first quarter to give Toronto a 24-23 lead after 12 minutes. Barnes led all scorers with 12 points in the opening quarter.

Another Barnes dunk with 3:51 left in the half gave the Raptors a three-point lead and forced Miami to take a timeout. Toronto outscored the Heat 10-7 when play resumed for a 53-47 lead at intermission.

An 11-1 run early in the third helped the Raptors build a 16-point lead 5:26 into the quarter. A driving layup by Toronto guard Fred VanVleet extended that lead to 19 and brought the 19,800 fans at Scotiabank Arena to their feet with 3:08 left in the quarter. The Raptors held an 84-67 lead heading into the fourth.

Precious Achiuwa drained a three-pointer a little over a minute into the final quarter to improve Toronto’s shooting from beyond the arc to 5-for-28 on the night. 

The Raptors previous three-point shooting low this season was 19.6 per cent (9/46) in a 104-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 4.

Back-to-back three-pointers from Achiuwa and O.G. Anunoby and a late three from VanVleet helped Toronto avoid a worse shooting percentage from beyond the arc, finishing at 22.2 per cent (8/36).

HURT RAPTORS — The Raptors announced before the game that guards Gary Trent Jr. (right elbow stiffness) and Will Barton (left ankle sprain) as well as forward Joe Wieskamp (right hamstring strain) were out of the lineup.

UP NEXT — The Raptors visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

Miami travels to Manhattan to face the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

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