|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CTNaN:� , December 26, 2018
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida Attendance: 19,902
Heat start homestand vs. Raptors
Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat
- Toronto owns the NBA's best road record at 12-6 (.667). However, the Raptors have lost their last three road games, averaging 103.0 points while allowing 116.3 points in those games.
- Miami is the only team in the NBA to be above .500 on the road (9-7) and under .500 at home (7-9). The Heat are shooting 42.4 percent from the field at home this season, worst in the NBA.
- The Raptors won the first game of the series in Toronto, 125-115, on November 25. Miami and Toronto have alternated wins in five straight matchups, but the Heat have won 13 of the last 16 games at home dating back to 2009-10.
- Although he only attempts 2.1 threes per game this season, Pascal Siakam is shooting 50.0 percent from three at home compared to 18.9 percent on the road. That difference (31.1) is the largest in the NBA (minimum 30 attempts both home and away).
- Tyler Johnson dropped 25 points on Sunday in Orlando, going 6-for-9 from three. He is shooting 51.2 percent from three this month, fourth best in the NBA (minimum 40 attempts).
- Danny Green has improved his plus/minus per game from 1.3 last season to 10.5 this season, the largest improvement (+9.2) in the NBA (minimum 70% of games both seasons). The Raptors' +16.9 net rating when he is on the court is the best by any player in the NBA (minimum 200 minutes played).
- Bucks on cusp of rare playoff series win
- Rockets on verge of sweeping Jazz
- Raptors hoping to oust Magic in Game 5
- 76ers look to close out Nets in Game 5
- Blazers trying to eliminate Thunder in 5
The Miami Heat, who own the NBA's longest active win streak at five games, will start a three-game homestand on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors.
Miami (16-16) is also tied for the league lead with a 9-3 win over the past 12 games. And, in the past five games, no Heat opponent has shot better than 42.2 percent from the floor.
"For the past two or three weeks, we've had a good flow," Heat forward Justise Winslow said. "Guys are getting comfortable. I like where we are as a team."
Meanwhile, Toronto (25-10) has the best record in the Eastern Conference. However, the Raptors are just 5-6 in their past 11 games.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse admitted he was a little disappointed his team was once again not invited to play on Christmas Day.
"It's a marquee day to play," Nurse said. "I think our guys would like to play on Christmas, but we play the schedule as it is."
Both teams are battling injuries. The Heat is without starting point guard Goran Dragic, who recently had knee surgery and could be out a couple of months. Shooting guard Dion Waiters, who has yet to play this season after ankle surgery, is practicing but is not yet ready to return.
For Toronto, center Jonas Valanciunas is out due to thumb surgery, and three Raptors players are questionable: shooting guard Danny Green (knee), center Serge Ibaka (knee) and point guard Kyle Lowry (thigh).
If all of them miss the Heat game, Toronto would be without four of its seven top scorers.
"I think when the Raptors have been at full strength, they have been the best team in basketball this year," said J.J. Redick, the sweet-shooting guard for the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Raptors showed what they could do earlier this season when they beat Miami 125-115 in Toronto.
Kawhi Leonard had 29 points and 10 rebounds in that game.
Leonard leads the Raptors this season in scoring (26.8), rebounds (8.4) and steals (1.8). After playing just nine games last season with the San Antonio Spurs, Leonard is putting up career numbers in points and boards in Toronto.
In addition, Lowry leads the Raptors with 9.8 assists, but he has missed four of Toronto's past five games. He is also averaging 14.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
Ibaka leads Toronto with 1.7 blocks and is averaging 16.7 points and 7.5 rebounds.
Green, who is averaging 9.7 points, leads Toronto in three-point shooting (40.9 percent) and free-throw shooting (93.3 percent).
As for Miami, shooting guard Josh Richardson leads the team with an 18.5 scoring average. Center Hassan Whiteside is averaging 13.1 points and leads Miami in rebounds (13.2) and blocks (2.6).
The Heat will miss Dragic, who is averaging 15.3 points and a team-leading 4.9 assists. But retiring star Dwyane Wade is providing a lift off the bench. He is scoring 14.2 points in 24 games, all of them in reserve. He scored 35 points in that game against Toronto earlier this season.
Updated December 25, 2018