With the Thunder eliminating the Spurs last night, we’re down to just one last Conference Semifinals series, and it could be coming to an end tonight. If they win Game 6 this evening, the Raptors will be moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’ll have to do it down in Miami, and both teams will be dealing with injuries. It’s been a close, yet sloppy series between these two, and at this point, I think we can all agree that we’re ready for the Conference Finals to begin, unless you’re a member of the Miami Heat, one of their fans, or a lover of ugly basketball.
8:00 pm – We’re down in Miami for Game 6 between the Raptors and the Heat! Word on the street is the Heat are going with a smaller starting five tonight, with rookie Justise Winslow stepping into starting lineup, instead of center Amare Stoudamire. Both teams are still without their normal starting centers, Jonas Valanciunas and Hassan Whiteside, but the good news is that DeMarre Carroll and Luol Deng will be starting tonight, after both suffered wrist injuries in Game 5.
8:09 – We’re just about ready for the game here at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Justisce Winslow will be the starting center for the Heat tonight, at 6’7″. We’ll see if the small lineup leads to success for the Heat this evening.
8:10 – The Raptors unsurprisingly win the opening tip, and Game 6 is underway. Dwyane Wade quickly gets a layup after the Raptors miss their opening shot, taking a 2-0 lead.
8:11 – Kyle Lowry gets the Raptors on the board with a layup, plus he’s fouled! He misses the free throw, so this game starts off tied at two.
— NBA (@NBA) May 14, 2016
8:17 – We have our first time out with the score Miami 9, Toronto 6 with 6:07 left in the first quarter. Looks like we’re in for another offensively challenged game between these two tonight.
8:23 – DeMarre Carrol misses an off-balance jumper as the shot clock expires, but Bismack Biyombo slams it home! Unfortunately, it’s waved off as the refs say it was still over the hoop when Biyombo grabbed it, but the replays clearly show that the refs are full of bullshit. It takes two points away from the Raptors, and we have a time out with the score Miami 12, Toronto 9 with 4:30 left in the first quarter.
8:36 – The first quarter comes to an end with the score Miami 21, Toronto 20. It’s been a low scoring one so far, but at least there’s been six lead changes as these teams battle back and forth. The teams are a combined 15-41 shooting so far.
8:40 – Josh McRoberts starts the second quarter off with a layup, extending Miami’s lead to 23-20.
8:44 – We’ve got a time out as the Heat have been able to build a little lead for themselves with help from a Josh McRoberts put back slam to make the score Miami 32, Toronto 24 with 9:21 left until halftime. McRoberts is lucky the refs didn’t make a terrible basket interference call like they did with Bismack Biyombo.
— NBA (@NBA) May 14, 2016
8:54 – DeMar DeRozan goes up with a fake, gets Luol Deng to bite on it, draws the foul, and sinks a shot! He’ll have a chance at a three point play, but first, we have a time out with the score Miami 43, Toronto 36 with 6:05 remaining in the second quarter.
9:00 – Patrick Patterson takes a nice pass from Bismack Biyombo and lays it in, and it leads to a time out with the score Miami 45, Toronto 41 with 4:01 to go until halftime. The ball is starting to find its way into the hoop a little more frequently as both teams have increased the pace as the Raptors chip away at the Heat’s lead.
9:14 – We’re here at halftime with the score Miami 53, Toronto 44. Watching these two teams play against one another actually got enjoyable during the second quarter, as they both exhibited competent offensive play. Goran Dragic has been on fire for the Heat, scoring 19 points so far. DeMar DeRozan’s not too far behind him, leading the Raptors with 15. Hopefully the offensive prowess continues into the second half.
9:20 – Time for tonight’s episode of This Day in NBA Playoff History, brought to you by the good people over at Basketball-Reference!
Back on May 13, 1999, Allen Iverson racked up a Playoff record ten steals for the 76ers in a 97-85 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 3 of their First Round series. Iverson added 33 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the Philadelphia victory, wreaking havoc as the Sixers took a 2-1 series lead. Nick Anderson had 23 points and 8 rebounds for Orlando, and Matt Harpring came off the bench for 10 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to withstand a historic performance from AI.
9:33 – Justise Winslow goes 1-2 from the line, scoring the first point of the second half and getting the Heat’s lead up to ten at 54-44.
9:40 – We’ve got a time out with the score Miami 66, Toronto 58 with 7:01 left in the third quarter after a pretty reverse layup from Goran Dragic. The Raptors have been able to get within four points of the Heat, but they haven’t been able to make it a one possession game so far as the Heat remain in control.
— NBA (@NBA) May 14, 2016
9:49 – Kyle Lowry gets to the hoop for a layup, and it leads to a time out with the score Miami 73, Toronto 64 with 3:45 left in the third quarter. Lowry’s playing well for the Raptors, with 21 points so far, but he’s also in foul trouble, having committed four. So far, Toronto has elected to leave him in the game, but don’t be surprised if they keep him on the bench when we come back from this time out.
9:53 – Kyle Lowry does indeed remain on the bench as we return to action. Can the Raptors hang in there without him?
9:57 – We’re here at the end of the third quarter with the score Miami 82, Toronto 72. The Heat have done a great job maintaining their lead in this one, and they’re twelve minutes away from forcing a Game 7 on Sunday afternoon.
10:02 – Kyle Lowry lobs one up for Lucas Nogueira who slams it home to kick off the fourth quarter scoring. It cuts the Raptors deficit to 82-74.
10:07 – Lowry gets into the paint and puts in a little running hook shot, and the Heat call a time out with the score Miami 88, Toronto 82 with 8:45 remaining. Once again, the Raptors have chipped away at the Heat’s lead a little bit, thanks to an 8-2 run in which Lowry has scored all of the points. In the third quarter, Miami was able this back up to around double digits. Will they do it again, or are the Raptors about to make things interesting down the stretch?
10:13 – Oh dear, Lowry’s just committed his fifth foul with 6:56 left in the game. One more, and he’s gone. Raptors coach Dwayne Casey keeps him in the ball game with the Raptors trailing, 90-82.
10:14 – After a Dwyane Wade jumper makes this a ten point game again, the Raptors take a time out. The score’s Miami 92, Toronto 82 with 6:33 to go.
10:25 – Kyle Lowry drives to the hoop and can’t convert on the layup, but he’s fouled. He’ll be shooting free throws when we return from a time out with the scoreboard reading Miami 96, Toronto 86 with 2:42 remaining. As they did in the third quarter, the Heat have been able to get their lead back up to around ten and keep it that way.
10:28 – Lowry hits his free throws, but time is going to become a factor for the Raptors, as they trail 96-88.
10:34 – This one comes to an end with the Raptors only able to muster two baskets over the final nine minutes of the ball game. Needless to say, they lost. The final score: Miami 103, Toronto 91.
Goran Dragic scored a Playoff career high 30 points to go along with seven rebounds to lead the Heat. Dwyane Wade as usual, made all of the big shots for the Heat in the fourth quarter, and he finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Kyle Lowry sprung for 36 points for the Raptors, and DeMar DeRozan scored 23, but they didn’t get much help from the rest of the gang. Bismack Biyombo did go for 13 rebounds, but scored just four points, as no other Raptors scored in double-digits. On top of that, they couldn’t buy a basket down the stretch, and also committed a few unfortunate turnovers, and for the second straight round, both of these teams are going to a Game 7.
That does it for tonight, and there’s no basketball on Saturday. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with myself. It’ll be a good day of rest before having to deal with a Game 7 between these two on Sunday, and then, it’ll be on to the Conference Finals.