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Raptors-HEAT Game 5 Recap

The Raptors beat the HEAT on Wednesday night, meaning they’re one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals.

Cody Taylor

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With the Toronto Raptors looking to take a 3-2 series lead against the Miami HEAT, All-Star guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry turned in their best performances of the series.

DeRozan tied a playoff career-high with 34 points and Lowry added 25 points to lead the Raptors to a 99-91 win over the HEAT on Wednesday night. The victory brings the Raptors one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.

The backcourt duo of DeRozan and Lowry combined to score 59 points in the contest after scoring just 19 points combined in Game 4 on Monday night. Perhaps the most encouraging sign for the Raptors was the duo’s ability to hit clutch shots down the stretch.

With the Raptors up by three, Lowry knocked down a three-pointer with 52.5 seconds left to push the lead to six points. Dwyane Wade hit a jumper that cut the deficit to four points, but Lowry answered again by making a pull-up jumper to seal the victory for Toronto.

DeRozan finished with 13 points in the fourth quarter, including six free throws in the final two minutes of the game, while Lowry added seven points in the quarter. DeRozan finished the game a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.

Miami cut the lead down to just one point with 1:54 remaining in the game, but couldn’t get any closer. They outscored the Raptors 29-24 in the fourth quarter behind nine points from Josh Richardson, eight points from Wade and six points from Joe Johnson.

Wade led all HEAT scorers with 20 points, while Goran Dragic and Richardson each had 13 points and Johnson added 11. The HEAT’s bench contributed 43 points, but their starters struggled in the game after shooting just 35 percent from the field.

Miami announced in the third quarter that Luol Deng would not return to the game after suffering a left wrist injury. HEAT head coach Erik Spoelstra said following the game that Deng will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury.

Toronto suffered a very significant injury as well, as DeMarre Carroll took a hard fall onto the court and came up clutching his left wrist. The team announced he suffered a contusion and would not return to the game. X-rays came back negative.

For much of the playoffs, the Raptors have received uneven play from their two All-Star guards. Lowry went off for 33 points in Game 3, but followed up that performance with just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting in Game 4. DeRozan had just nine points in Game 4, going 4-of-17 from the field. He only played about two minutes in the fourth quarter of that game after struggling.

If the Raptors are going to have a chance to clinch the series, Lowry and DeRozan will have to each turn in great performances again.

Miami trailed the Charlotte Hornets 3-2 in the first round and responded by winning the next two games to clinch the series win.Β Over the past few games, Wade has carried the bulk of the load offensively for Miami. In order for the HEAT to keep their season alive, they’ll need to get other players to step up.

Cody Taylor is an NBA writer in his fourth season with Basketball Insiders, covering the NBA and NCAA out of Orlando and Miami.

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Legacy

Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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Headlines

#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz

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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler

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What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:

 

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