4.The Toronto Raptors’ overtime loss vs the Miami Heat
Some people might have forgotten about this because the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat were two of the best teams, but both teams were entering the season as two of the most underrated teams of last season. The narrative before the season start was that both teams will be in the lower seeds in the playoffs or that they won’t even make it in the playoffs that year.
The media in the United States criticized Jimmy Butler’s decision to leave the Philadelphia 76ers for the Heat. They said that Butler could have won the championship with the 76ers this past season if he stayed.
They also said that not only he would never win in Miami, but he would also not be in the playoffs. Even if he did, the Heat would be at best the eight seed and will be gone in the first round.
For the Toronto Raptors, they entered the season as the defending champs. But they did not have Kawhi Leonard last season.
And because of that, the media thought that either they would barely make it to the playoffs or not be in the playoffs at all.
During the season, both teams proved that they are the top teams in the east. One of the ways they proved that they are two of the best teams in the east was when they faced each other in the first meeting of the season on Dec. 3, 2019.
The Heat snapped the Raptors’ seven-game winning streak by beating them 121-110 overtime victory. Butler finished the game with a triple-double of 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists for Miami, while Norman Powell had 23 points, eight rebounds, and an assist for Toronto.
This was Kyle Lowry’s first game back in 11 games from a thumb injury. In his first game back Lowry dropped 12 points and 11 assists.
For most of the game, it was only a single-digit deficit despite the Heat leading as many as 11 points earlier in the game. But the Raptors would make the game 83-81 at the end of the third quarter with Fred VanVleet making a layup and getting a and one with seven seconds left plus hitting the free throw.
But with five straight points from Canadian Kelly Olynyk, Miami was up by eight with 4:51 left in the game.
Then with Powell hitting two huge three-pointers plus Lowry’s two free throws, that puts Toronto up 108-107 with 43 seconds left.
However, Butler hit a free throw that tied the game with 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After Pascal Siakam losing the ball and Butler missed a buzzer-beating shot and the game was tied 108-108 and both teams went to overtime.
Miami started hot in the first 55 seconds of overtime thanks to Butler’s eight connective points. The Raptors missed four shots in a row before Powell shot two free throws.
But that was not enough to win the game because Olynyk shot a three-pointer with 29 seconds left. That shot sealed the victory for the Heat.
After that game, both teams played against each other two more times. The second game was on Jan. 2 where the Heat beat the Raptors again 76-84 and the third game was seven months later at the bubble on Aug. 3 where Toronto beat Miami 107-103.