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Miami on the brink after Raptors defeat


By Agence France-Presse

The Miami Heat edged closer to elimination from the NBA playoffs for the second time in three seasons on Sunday after a 117-109 defeat to the Toronto Raptors.

Miami entered the game with their destiny still in their own hands, knowing that victories in their three final regular season fixtures would carry them into the postseason.

But an agonising loss which saw them blow a 13-point first half lead means Miami are now sweating on results elsewhere to have any chance of progressing.

Wins for Brooklyn and Orlando later Sunday in their games against Indiana and Boston would confirm Miami’s elimination.

Sunday’s loss left Miami with 38 wins and 42 defeats for the season.

Toronto, who are second in the Eastern Conference with a 57-24 record, were carried to victory after big points contributions from Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard.

Siakam scored 23 points while Leonard finished with 22.

Danny Green’s intervention in overtime proved decisive, with the Raptors player scoring seven of his team’s 14 points to set up the win.

Miami icon Dwyane Wade, who could grace an NBA court for a last time when the regular season draws to a close on Wednesday, finished with 21 points.

The three-time NBA champion, however, was left frustrated when he missed a basket in the final seconds of regulation which would have given Miami a crucial win.