The reigning NBA champions have not had a ton of success on the road this season, but they certainly have made themselves feel at home when they visit Toronto. The Miami Heat will have a chance to climb above .500 away from home when they square off with the Raptors on Sunday. The Heat have won the last nine meetings with Toronto, including a 123-116 overtime victory in Miami on Jan. 23. That game featured monster performances from Heat superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. James posted a triple-double and Wade scored a season-high 35 points.
The Raptors are coming off a 25-point drubbing of the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night in a game that featured the Toronto debut of Rudy Gay. Acquired in a three-team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons, Gay was the centrepiece of the deal that cost the Raptors point guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis. Gay came off the bench Friday and made a favourable first impression with the home fans, scoring a team-high 20 points in the 98-73 demolition of the Clippers.
TV: 2 p.m., TSN
ABOUT THE HEAT (29-14): Chris Bosh will be facing his former team for the sixth time. A first-round pick of Toronto in 2003, Bosh has averaged 18.2 points and 8.0 rebounds in the previous four meetings. He has played spectacularly in his two visits to the Air Canada Centre, torching the Raptors for 30 points in March 2012 and scoring 25 points in February 2011. While Bosh is averaging 17.1 points and 7.2 rebounds this season, he was held to 12 points by Toronto last month and has not scored more than 16 points in nine consecutive games. He had 13 points in Friday’s 102-89 loss at Indiana.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (17-30): While much of the focus was on Gay, Amir Johnson turned in a stellar performance against the Clippers, scoring 19 points and hauling down a career high-tying 16 rebounds. It was the third double-double in five games for Johnson, who figures to see the bulk of the minutes at the starting power forward spot following the departure of Davis. Top reserve Alan Anderson failed to score Friday, halting a streak of eight straight games in which he scored in double figures. He has struggled with his shooting in the last three, going 5-for-27.
1. James scored a career-high 56 points vs. Toronto in 2005 while with Cleveland. Gay poured in a career-high 41 points vs. Miami in 2009.
2. Raptors G DeMar DeRozan has averaged 17.2 points in 11 career games against the Heat.
3. Toronto’s last win over Miami came on Jan. 27, 2010, at Air Canada Centre.
PREDICTION: Heat 104, Raptors 95