Heat closes regular-season with win over Raptors, with play-in matchup vs. 76ers up next

Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald on

Published in Basketball

MIAMI — The Miami Heat needed a win and some help on the final day of the regular season to avoid the NBA’s play-in tournament.

The Heat got the win, cruising to a 118-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors (25-57) on Sunday afternoon at Kaseya Center to close the regular season at 46-36.

But the Heat didn’t get the help it needed, as the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers also won on Sunday to keep the Heat in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and play-in tournament-bound for the second straight season.

The Heat now has to travel to Philadelphia to take on Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and the scorching 76ers in the East’s No. 7 vs. No. 8 play-in game on Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m., ESPN). The winner of that game will secure the East’s No. 7 playoff seed and face the second-seeded New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, while the loser will host a win-or-go-home play-in game on Friday for the East’s No. 8 playoff seed.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Wednesday’s matchup against the 76ers. “It will be a great environment. Philly has been playing fantastic recently. So we know what to expect up there. That is what we say, it’s for competitors only. It should be a lot of fun.”

A Magic or 76ers loss paired with the Heat’s win on Sunday would have moved Miami up to No. 7 in the East to host the first play-in game. A Magic loss and a 76ers or Pacers loss paired with the Heat’s win on Sunday would have moved the Heat up to sixth place in the East and out of the play-in tournament.


The Heat took care of its own business, closing Sunday’s first half on a huge 42-17 run to take full control of the game and enter halftime with a 21-point lead. Miami led by as many as 30 points in the second half against a Toronto team already well out of playoff contention.

The issue is the rest of what the Heat needed to happen on Sunday to move up in the standings and/or avoid the play-in tournament didn’t happen.

Jimmy Butler only played 24 minutes for the Heat in the regular-season finale, finishing with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, five rebounds and four assists.

Bam Adebayo added 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, six rebounds, two assists, three steals and one block in 19 minutes for the Heat.


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