Raptors finally return to Toronto as Lowry begins in Miami | Professional

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The Raptors finally returned home to Toronto on the night Kyle Lowry got going in Miami.

The longtime star north of the border is now running the point in South Florida.

The first full night of NBA preseason action started with the Raptors playing in their own arena for the first time since Feb. 28, 2020. They beat the Philadelphia 76ers 123-107 on Monday in a game without the familiar starting point guards for either team.

Lowry now plays for the Heat and the 76ers don’t know if or when Ben Simmons will rejoin them. He has not reported to the club this season while hoping for a trade.

The Raptors were on a road trip before the NBA season was suspended in March 2020 because of the coronavirus, then played the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida, because of virus restrictions that prevented teams from traveling across the border.

Instead of coming back to Toronto with the Raptors, Lowry went to the Heat in a sign-and-trade deal. Toronto fans will see him again Feb. 3 when Miami makes its first trip there this season.

When they do, the Heat will arrive as a title contender if Lowry fits like they expect. They had to like what they saw Monday, as Lowry had seven assists in 15 minutes of a 125-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

OG Anunoby scored 21 points for Toronto and Justin Champagnie had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie Scottie Barnes, the No. 4 pick in the draft, finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Precious Achiuwa, acquired from Miami in the Lowry trade, had 13 points and seven rebounds. Goran Dragic, whose number 7 in Miami is now being worn by Lowry, started and had eight points.

Andre Drummond, starting while Joel Embiid sat out, had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Tyrese Maxey scored 10 points starting in Simmons’ spot.

Tyler Herro scored 26 points and Bam Adebayo threw down five dunks before halftime and as Miami rolled at home.

Herro shot 9 of 12 overall and 3 of 4 from 3-point range as the Heat finished 21 of 41 (51.2%) from deep.

The Hawks’ Trae Young left the contest early in the third quarter after he took a knee in the right thigh from Miami’s Gabe Vincent. Atlanta reported Young sustained a right quad contusion, which was not considered serious.

Young, John Collins and Danilo Gallinari scored 14 points apiece for Atlanta.

Miami held Jimmy Butler out of action for rest. He brought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich wrapped in a napkin into the Heat bench area to start the third quarter, giving it to Adebayo as an in-game treat. Adebayo, who wasn’t playing in the second half, smiled a bit sheepishly when Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spotted the sandwich as he made his way to his seat.

Jaylen Brown scored 25 points and Jayson Tatum scored 18 in Boston before Romeo Langford made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 14 seconds left.

Brown logged 26 minutes and Tatum 25 for new coach Ime Udoka.

Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft, buried the preseason’s first ‘logo 3’ with time winding down in the shot clock to give the Magic a 41-35 lead with 4:32 before halftime.

The rookie out of Gonzaga finished with nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.

Cole Anthony and Moritz Wagner each scored 16 points for Orlando. Mo Bamba had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Rookie James Bouknight scored 20 points and Lamelo Ball had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists in Oklahoma City.

Terry Rozier’s pull-up jumper with 5:21 left in the first quarter sparked a 20-7 Hornets spurt for a 34-18 lead at the end of one.

Charlotte’s Kelly Oubre Jr. left in the third quarter with a right lower leg strain and didn’t return. Coach James Borrego said the injury wasn’t serious and said the forward would be day to day.

Josh Giddey, the 6-foot-8 No. 6 overall pick out of Australia for the Thunder, led Oklahoma City with 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting, adding seven rebounds and three assists.

TIMBERWOLVES 117, PELICANS 114

D’Angelo Russell scored 19 points as Minnesota held on at home. Karl-Anthony Towns added 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Anthony Edwards, last season’s runner-up for Rookie of the Year, chipped in 10 points.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 22 points and rookie Trey Murphy III made six 3-points and added 21.

Brandon Ingram had 14 for the Pelicans, who are without Zion Williamson as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot.

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