Heat at Raptors
The Toronto Raptors ascended to the top of the Eastern Conference on the strength of a five-game winning streak and intend to remain in the No. 1 spot. The Raptors will try to push the winning streak to six in a row when they host the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
Toronto's last five wins came by an average of 21 points, and the lopsided victories are giving the starting five some time off and the second unit a chance to shine. "Ah, I'm tired of them," All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry joked to reporters about the team's backups. "Freddy (VanVleet) came to us and told us 'way to go bench mob,' talking about us. We the bench mob right now." The Heat got a new piece coming off the bench on Friday that provided a spark to the team as Miami snapped a five-game slide with a 91-85 win over Milwaukee in Dwyane Wade's return. "I'm definitely excited to be back," Wade, who arrived in a trade from Cleveland at Thursday's deadline, told reporters. "The jersey and the colors fit."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Miami), Sportsnet One (Toronto)
ABOUT THE HEAT (30-26): Wade scored three points on 1-of-6 shooting in his return but ran the second unit and delivered some key defensive plays with two blocks and two steals. "We're not asking him to come in here and bail us out in all these situations," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. "Other guys have developed. What he absolutely does is help everybody. You add somebody of his caliber and put him on the floor in those situations -- (he's) seen every coverage, seen every situation, does not get sick at sea during those moments. That just adds a little more confidence for everybody else." Wade wasn't the only Heat player to struggle offensively on Friday as All-Star point guard Goran Dragic went 1-of-11 from the floor after scoring 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting in the previous contest.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (39-16): CJ Miles is leading that second unit for Toronto of late and scored a season-high 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting in Sunday's 123-103 win over Charlotte. The 30-year-old small forward is 18-of-27 from the floor (14-of-21 from 3-point range) over the last three contests while VanVleet is averaging 11.8 points -- nearly four more than his season average -- and scored in double figures in each of the last five contests. All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan was just 2-of-11 from the floor in a win over the New York Knicks on Thursday but found his form again while scoring 25 points on 10-of-19 against the Hornets.
1. Heat C Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) sat out the last two games and is questionable to return before the All-Star break.
2. Raptors SF OG Anunoby (ankle) left Sunday's game and is day-to-day.
3. Dragic scored 24 points in a 90-89 win at Toronto on Jan. 9.