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Game thread: Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat

There are 10 players on the court, but everyone’s eyes will be on Kyle Lowry tonight.

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Hard to believe it’s finally here, but it is: Kyle Lowry is about to play his first game in Toronto as a visiting player in more than a decade.

There is, of course, a basketball game to be played, and an important one too, as Lowry’s Miami Heat look to solidify their spot atop the Eastern Conference playoff standings, and the Toronto Raptors look to stay ahead of the Chicago Bulls in the race for fifth place (and put some pressure on Philadelphia for fourth place!).

But before that happens though, there will be a celebration. The Raptors are planning a pre-game tribute to Lowry, and Sportsnet is planning to air it as part of the broadcast at approximately 7:05 p.m. I anticipate being an emotional wreck after, but thankfully, the Raptors are professionals and will no doubt be able to switch from cheering on their former teammate, to going out their and trying to win a basketball game against him.

And doing that might just be a little bit easier than anticipated — Jimmy Butler is not expected to play tonight, as he’ll take a rest day on the second night of a back-to-back. PJ Tucker was also a late scratch, as was Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra (health and safety protocols).

For the Raptors, the bad news is that OG Anunoby will miss the game with a bruised thigh. The good news is, Malachi Flynn, who played for the Raptors 905 yesterday, has finally been upgraded to questionable; even if he doesn’t return tonight, we should see him before the end of the regular season. Yuta Watanabe remains questionable as well.

Those are all of your updates! Settle and get ready to celebrate the GROAT!

Where to Watch:

Sportsnet, 7:00PM EST

Lineups:

Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, Pascal Siakam

Miami – Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson

Injuries:

Toronto — OG Anunoby (thigh – out), Malachi Flynn (hamstring – questionable), Yuta Watanabe (quad – questionable)

Miami – Max Strus (shoulder - questionable), Gabe Vincent (toe – out), Caleb Martin (calf – questionable), Dewayne Dedmon (ankle – out), PJ Tucker (knee – out)