NBA regular season

Jimmy Butler, Heat hold off Raptors


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Jimmy Butler, Heat hold off Raptors

NO RUST. Jimmy Butler becomes vital in the Miami Heat's win over the Toronto Raptors.

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler, who had surgery on this right thumb, sees action for first time since November 29

Jimmy Butler had a triple-double, and Bam Adebayo returned after missing 22 games, leading the host Miami Heat to a 104-99 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, January 17.

Butler had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Adebayo, who had surgery on his right thumb, posted 14 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes, his first action since November 29. He made 4 of 12 shots.

Tyler Herro added a team-high 23 points as Miami improved to 19-8 against Eastern Conference teams. The Heat are 14-5 at home.

Chris Boucher scored 23 points to lead the Raptors, who are 7-3 in their past 10 games. Fred VanVleet added 22 points, but he had just 11 after the first quarter.

Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, who had a triple-double in his previous game, had 18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

Heat point guard Kyle Lowry missed the game due to personal reasons. This would have been his first game against Toronto since the Raptors traded him to Miami in August.

Precious Achiuwa, Miami’s first-round pick in 2020, had six points and a game-high 15 rebounds in his first game against the Heat. He was part of the Lowry trade.

Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes, who missed Toronto’s previous game due to a knee injury, had 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Raptors wing Gary Trent Jr. missed his fifth straight game due to an ankle injury.

Toronto led 30-27 after one quarter, getting 11 points and 3-for-7 shooting from VanVleet, with all of those attempts coming from deep.

Miami closed the second quarter with an 11-2 run, strolling into halftime with a 58-51 advantage. The Heat held VanVleet to no shots in the second quarter.

Butler led all first-half scorers with 15 points. As a team, Miami shot 50% from the floor for the half, and Toronto was held to 43.5 percent.

The third quarter featured 12 lead changes and three tie scores, but Herro scored Miami’s final seven points, and the Heat went into the fourth with an 80-75 lead.

In the fourth, Miami led 99-92 with 4:13 left, but a 4-0 Toronto run left the Heat with a three-point lead with 1:48 remaining.

Miami’s Gabe Vincent came up with a pair of strong defensive plays, and PJ Tucker made his only three-pointer of the game for a 102-96 lead with :20.7 to play. The Heat held on from there. –

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