Toronto Raptors blow out the Miami Heat and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals

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Football News

The Toronto Raptors booked their place in the Eastern Conference Finals with a comfortable 116-89 blowout win over the Miami Heat in game seven. 

Led by their backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the franchise from north of the border set up an intriguing matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers as they dominated Miami from the off. 

Lowry had his third 30+ point game of the series as he ended the night with 35 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals as the Raptors reached their first Conference Finals in franchise history. DeRozan had 28 points on 12-29 shooting. Bismack Biyombo was huge as he came up with 16 rebounds and 17 points. 

For Miami, Dwyane Wade had 16 points and appeared to twist his right ankle as their season ended in disappointment. Goran Dragic also had 16 to go with his seven rebounds.

The Raptors held a one-point lead after the first 12 minutes of action off the back of DeRozan's 11 points. The shooting guard showed no signs of his earlier postseason issues as he kicked off the scoring with a pull-up jump shot. 

Lowry, Patrick Patterson, and Biymobo were the other Toronto players to open their account in the first quarter while Winslow and Dragic had six apiece for the Heat.

The raucous crowd inside the Air Canada Centre continued to get behind their team the whole night and that passionate following helped the Canadian organisation stretch their advantage to six at the interval. 

Lowry was hot in the second quarter as he added 14 points - including two threes - to head into the locker room with 16. He dropped two free throws with 0.1 seconds to go to bump up their lead. 

DeRozan only added four to his total while DeMarre Carroll ended the opening 24 minutes with eight points off 100 percent shooting from the field and free throw line. 

Miami struggled from range and were just 3-11 from behind the arc. Luol Deng was 0-3 with Winslow, Josh Richardson and Wade being the men to find net. 

The backcourt duo of D-Wade and Dragic were the main instigators for the Heat as they scored ten points each during the first half. 

2016 All-Star Lowry, who was under intense pressure following his opening game trouble, continued his strong night with seven points in the first four minutes of the second half to take his tally to 23. 

Toronto's lead was up as high as 17 in the third but the visitors rallied to end the third quarter 86-78 down. All five of Miami's starters were in double-figures with their backcourt pair leading the way with 14. 

For the home team, DeRozan and Lowry had combined for 54 points while Biyombo had pulled down 11 boards to go with his nine points. 

With 7:55 still to play in the game and Toronto up by 17, McRoberts showed his frustrations by slamming his forearm into the chest of Biyombo and earning himself a flagrant one upon review from the officials. 

Miami resorted to hacking the big man with just over five minutes remaining, but an offensive rebound after two missed free throws from Biyombo only proved to pump up the crowd even further. 

Rebounds were a problem for the South Beach franchise all night as they were out-hustled 50-30 on the boards as they struggled without the presence of Hassan Whiteside.

The roof almost came off the arena as Lowry pulled up and nailed a three from deep to hand Toronto a 25-point lead and really rubber stamp their superiority on the game. 

There was a party atmosphere inside and outside the ACC as the Raptors closed the game out. Lowry was given a standing ovation as he made his way to the bench following a huge performance in the biggest game of his career. 

Fans chanted "we want Cleveland", and they will get their wish as the series kicks off at the Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday.

Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
NBA Playoffs
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Miami Heat
Kyle Lowry

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