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News » Raptors-Heat Preview 2009-12-14


Raptors-Heat Preview 2009-12-14


Raptors-Heat Preview 2009-12-14Coming off their worst home loss in two seasons, the struggling Miami Heat look to get their homestand back on track.

Facing the Toronto Raptors might not be the ideal opponent for Miami to end its poor play.

The Heat look to snap a four-game home losing streak Tuesday when they take on the Raptors, who have won three in a row in Miami.

After opening the season 7-2, Miami fell to 11-11 with Sunday's 118-90 loss to Memphis. It was the Heat's worst home defeat since a 29-point loss to New Orleans on April 2, 2008.

"It's anger, it's disappointment, and embarrassment," said coach Erik Spoelstra, who held a lengthy team meeting Sunday after Miami dropped its second straight to open a six-game homestand. "These are some of the best opportunities to grow as a team, when you get embarrassed and you get your tail handed to you."

Miami has allowed 100 or more points in six straight contests for the first time since Dec. 17-27, 2004. The Heat haven't allowed 100 or more in seven consecutive games since a 1-7 start to the 1994-95 season.

"We all have to come in (Monday) with a different mindset," Dwyane Wade said after scoring 25 points. "When you look at the game film, when you look at yourself, you've got to know how you can help this team get better and compete. Tonight, we didn't compete."

Wade and the Heat will try to avoid their longest home losing streak since a seven-game slide from March 5-21, 2008.

The Raptors (11-15) make their first visit to Miami following one of their better defensive efforts of 2009-10. Toronto, which allows an Eastern-Conference worst 108.0 points per game, held Houston to 36.8 percent shooting in Sunday's 101-88 victory.

The Raptors are 8-0 when holding their opponents to 100 points or fewer.

"We had a good effort and energy throughout the game," coach Jay Triano said."Good pressure defensively on guys with the ball, better than we've had."

Chris Bosh scored 27 points while Hedo Turkoglu added a season-high 23 with six rebounds and five assists.

"That's what Hedo can do," Bosh said. "He can create for other people and he can create for himself. If he's aggressive shooting the ball and taking it to the basket, that really helps us out. It gets everybody involved and it gets him going. When we're doing that, we're a hard team to beat."

Bosh had 29 points and 12 rebounds and Turkoglu scored 19 points with a season-high eight assists in Toronto's 120-113 victory over the Heat on Nov. 20. The Raptors have won seven of eight versus Miami.

In the teams' last meeting at Miami, Toronto countered Wade's 40-point, 11-assist performance with 9 of 13 3-point shooting and a 101-95 victory on Nov. 19, 2008. The Raptors have won three straight in Miami by an average of 21.0 points.

Jermaine O'Neal, acquired from Toronto in February, had 12 points Sunday after missing two games due to the death of a close relative.

Raptors point guard Jose Calderon is doubtful Tuesday after missing three of four games with a sore left hip. Jarrett Jack is averaging 14.8 points, 6.3 assists and 5.0 rebounds in his place.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 14, 2009

 

 
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