NBA: Leonard, Green help Raptors knock off Heat


Posted at Dec 27 2018 12:57 PM

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (right) celebrates with guard Danny Green (left after defeating the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

Kawhi Leonard posted a game-high 30 points and added eight rebounds as the Toronto Raptors snapped the host Miami Heat's five-game win streak with a 106-104 victory on Wednesday night.

The Raptors were without point guard Kyle Lowry, who has back pain. But Toronto is 8-1 without Lowry this season.

Toronto's Danny Green hit the go-ahead 3-pointer from the right corner with 23 seconds left to give the Raptors a 106-104 lead.

On the following possession, Miami's Dwyane Wade missed a 3-pointer that fell short. Teammate Justise Winslow grabbed the rebound and missed a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left, and Wade failed on a tip-in as Toronto survived.

Winslow, who has taken over as Miami's point guard with the knee injury to All-Star Goran Dragic, led the Heat with 21 points and added four assists. He had nine of his points in the fourth quarter.

The Heat's Josh Richardson added 17 points and a team-high seven assists. Teammate Hassan Whiteside had 16 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. But he had just four points and two rebounds in the second half.

For Toronto, Green added 18 points and made 4 of 7 three-pointers. He redeemed himself after missing all four of his 3-point attempts when Toronto beat Miami earlier this season.

Toronto, which has the best record in the NBA, also got 16 points from Fred VanVleet.

Miami's win streak had been the longest active run in the NBA, but the Heat blew a 17-point third-quarter lead.

Heat starting forward Rodney McGruder returned after missing one game due to a stomach flu and had five points.

Toronto was without two starters: Lowry and center Jonas Valanciunas (dislocated left thumb).

However, power forward Serge Ibaka, who missed three games due to swelling in his right knee, returned and contributed six points.

Miami raced to a 31-23 first-quarter lead and led 58-44 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Raptors took their first lead since 2-0 when Leonard made a jumper in the lane with 1:26 left, and that set the stage for the dramatics at the end.

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