Gary Trent Jr.’s 33 points leads Raptors to third straight win


Published February 1, 2022 at 10:17 pm

TORONTO — Gary Trent Jr. scored 33 points as the Toronto Raptors beat the Miami Heat, 110-106, at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday for their third straight win.

Fred VanVleet added 21 points, and Pascal Siakam finished with 16 points and14 rebounds for the Raptors (26-23). 

Bam Adebayo had a double-double in the losing effort for Miami (32-20), with 32 points and 11 rebounds.

The last time these two sides met was last Saturday, triple overtime thriller that saw the Raptors come away with a 130-124 victory as Trent scored 33 points in the victory.

Trent, who shot 11-for-20 from the field, entered Tuesday’s contest on a four-game streak of scoring at least 30 points in a game. He extended it to five on Tuesday, joining DeMar DeRozan as the only other Raptor to do so.

Siakam and Precious Achiuwa hit back-to-back three-pointers to give Toronto a three-point lead with a little over nine minutes to play. The two teams would take turns trading the lead until Trent went on a personal 8-0 run to put Toronto up 100-93 with 4:35 remaining. The Heat were able to get the lead down to as few as two, but that was as close as they got.

Miami played a strong first half that appeared to overwhelm a Raptors team that didn’t look quite as sharp as it had in its previous two games as the Heat carried a 62-50 lead after the first 24 minutes. Miami shot 57.9 per cent from the floor in the half and Adebayo had 19 points in the opening two periods, alone.

Toronto responded after the break, using a 10-2 run that saw VanVleet and Siakam score all the points, to cut Miami’s lead to four with about six-and-a-half minutes left in the frame.

A couple minutes later, Chris Boucher took a hit to the groin area on an offensive foul by Jimmy Butler as Butler kicked out his leg. The play appeared to spark both teams as the Raptors and Heat traded baskets to end the period with Miami clinging to an 83-80 lead heading into the fourth.

Once again, the Raptors rode their starters hard as both Trent and Scottie Barnes eclipsed the 40-minute mark.

Toronto is in the midst of a stretch that’s seeing the team play four games in five nights. The Raptors opened this stretch in their schedule with a 106-100 victory over the Hawks in Atlanta on Monday.

Heat, and former Raptors, guard Kyle Lowry missed his ninth straight game due to personal reasons.

Achiuwa, one of the players Lowry was traded for in the sign-and-trade transaction between Toronto and Miami in the off-season, along with rookie Barnes were named to the NBA’s Rising Stars showcase on Tuesday.

Achiuwa finished Tuesday’s contest with 12 points, while Barnes had 11.

Raptors centre Khem Birch missed his 10th consecutive game with a nose fracture. Raptors coach Nick Nurse said Birch is “within a week of playing” again before the game.

Spotted in the sparse crowd at Scotiabank Arena was Raptors global ambassador, and superstar rapper, Drake sitting next to Toronto vice-chairman and team president Masai Ujiri.

Up next for the Raptors will be another back-to-back, against the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, both at home, beginning Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising