NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat Defeat Toronto Raptors—Game 7 Preview

The Toronto Raptors failed to put the Miami Heat away on Friday night, meaning the Raptors and Heat will be heading to Toronto to finish the 2016 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals. Goran Dragic had a Playoffs career-high 30 points with some serious support from Dwyane Wade to help force Game 7.

As has become the trend in the NBA after the success of Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, the Miami Heat tried a new small-man line-up, and the change worked. As the OKC Thunder prepare for the Warriors, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to watch the Heat-Raptors series, waiting to find out if they’ll face Wade and the Heat or Kyle Lowry and the Raptors.

Dwyane Wade can’t have many NBA Playoffs appearances left, now a 13-year NBA veteran. While a lot of people would love to see LeBron James vs. Dwyane Wade in a post-season match-up (including King James himself), the Toronto Raptors have been looking to prove that they can compete in the NBA Playoffs, having only won a single postseason series before this year.

Raptors-Heat Game 6 stats

Goran Dragic’s 30 points were accompanied by seven rebounds and four assists. Dwyane Wade had a game-high three blocked shots, a team-high five assists, plus 22 points and six rebounds. D-Wade was also the only player to register more than one steal in Game 6. Luol Deng lead the Heat with eight rebounds. Josh McRoberts had 10 points off the bench. Hassan Whiteside was out due to his knee and has been ruled out of Game 7 as well.

Kyle Lowry did more offensive damage than anyone in Game 6, scoring 36 points for the Raptors and adding a team-high three assists. Demar DeRozan was the only other player from Toronto that scored in double-digits, finishing with 23 points. Bismack Biyombo had a game-high 13 rebounds. DeMarre Carroll was listed as day-to-day leading up to Game 6. Carroll started the game and played 25 minutes, scoring just five points and grabbing six rebounds.


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Heat Force Game 7

If Toronto can win at home on Sunday, it will be the first time the Raptors have been to the NBA Conference Finals. As reported by NBA, the Raptors are just one of four active NBA teams that have never made it to the Conference Finals (along with the Pelicans, Hornets and Clippers). This will be just the fourth time Toronto has played in a Game 7 of any NBA Playoffs series. Their win against the Indiana Pacers in the first round this year was the first time the Raptors had ever won Game 7.

After reaching the NBA Finals four years in a row with LeBron James on the squad, the Miami Heat didn’t even make the Playoffs last season. The Heat also won in seven games during Round 1. That means the winner of the series will have played 14 games by Sunday night, whereas the Cleveland Cavaliers have only had to play 8.

Heat-Raptors: Where To Watch Game 7

Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals featuring Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors will be Sunday, May 18, at the Air Canada Centre in Ontario. As of Monday evening, almost zero tickets were available for purchase directly through the venue to see the Heat vs. Raptors live in Toronto for Game 7. The Raptors-Heat game will air on ABC with the game scheduled to begin at 3:30 EST.

The winners of the Heat-Raptors game will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Conference Finals against the Cavs will begin either Sunday, May 15 or Tuesday, May 17. Whether it’s the Miami Heat or the Toronto Raptors that advance, the first two games of the next series will be at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

[Photo credit Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]