Mateo’s Hoop Diary: The Heat decimated the Raptors in the regular season Finale

The outcome was important, but the Heat’s regular-season finale transpired as an expected rear-kicking with seven hosts in double-digit scoring and four recording at least four dimes against the understaffed Raptors.

The Heat were absent Terry Rozier (neck) and Duncan Robinson (back). The Raptors were missing Chris Boucher (knee), Jakob Poetl (finger), Immanuel Quickley (left adductor strain) and Scottie Barnes (hand).

Early, Jimmy Butler scored a putback in the lane and cut back door for a lob on the right side. Adebayo consumed four rebounds, notched a tip-in and dribbled into the paint, swishing a floater. And Jaime Jaquez Jr. added six points.

Kevin Love hurt his left arm going for a loose ball at the end of the first quarter. He did not return and the team said it was a contusion.

Yet visitors had the game tied through the first quarter. They misfired on all eight 3-point tries against man coverage and the zone but finished in the paint on eight occasions and made eight freebies.

Afterward the Heat went on a 36-13 run in the last seven minutes of the first half and seized total control the rest of the way. Wright, Butler, Herro, Martin and Adebayo flooded the Raptors with jump shots and Butler barreled into the square for a left-handed scoop.

At halftime, the Heat was ahead 67-46 and up on the glass by four. The crew also picked up 34 paint points, six on the break, 11 via second chances, 19 after turnovers and 20 from the bench.

The Raptors had 30 interior points, four in the open court, nine on extra tries, eight after turnovers and 14 from the reserves.

Then the Raptors were overwhelmed by the Heat’s backline and help defense, scoring only three of eight baskets in the restricted area in the third quarter.

On the Heat side, Adebayo cut into the paint thrice, dunking twice and making a layup. Thomas Bryant tallied two putbacks, two freebies and a two-foot basket. And Martin soared into the box for a booming jam and nailed a long two-point jumper at the top of the key.

Next, the fourth quarter started with the Heat above 94-71.

The Raptors only played two spot starters- Ochai Agbaji and Javon Freeman-Liberty- to close the match. The Heat forced six consecutive misses to begin the frame, contesting well in transition and on time from deep. But Jaquez and Bryant’s rim attacks and Delon Wright’s catch-and-shoot right-wing triple put the affair in garbage time with over seven minutes left.

The hosts won 118-103 and picked up two more rebounds. No starting Heatle logged more than 29 minutes, and the squad picked up 68 paint points, 16 on the break, 20 via second chances, 29 after turnovers and 36 from the bench.

Butler (15), Adebayo (17), Martin (12), Herro (17), Jaquez (18), Delon Wright (11) and Thomas Bryant (18) were the seven Heatles who scored in double digits.

The Raptors had 54 interior points, eight on the break, 24 on extra tries, 22 after turnovers and 42 from the reserves.

When asked about playing Wednesday in the Play-In Tournament against the Philadelphia 76ers, coach Erik Spoelstra said, “Could have been Tuesday and we would have been ready to rock.”

When asked about Love’s injury, Spoelstra said he suffered a stinger and will be evaluated on Monday.

Herro later mentioned his goal for the postseason is to stay healthy.

Adebayo said the team is going into the Play-In against the 76ers confident and that he expected to see defenses packing the paint.

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