Barnes's double-double leads Raptors past Heat

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Reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes recorded 22 points, seven rebounds, and dished out a career-high 12 assists to lead the Toronto Raptors in a 106-92 win over the Miami Heat in Tuesday night's NBA match.

With the win, Toronto evened their record at 38-38, reaching the 50 percent winning rate mark for the first time since December 9, when they were 13-13.

All-Star forward Pascal Siakam had a well-rounded game with 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists. The forward has scored 20 or more points in five of his last seven games, and has reached this milestone 48 times this season.

Forward O.G. Anunoby also poured in 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Anunoby continues his hot March in which he has averaged 18.9 points per game while shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from beyond the arc on 6.5 attempts.

With a six-point lead at halftime, Barnes and his teammates jumped out to a quick 13-5 run to start the third quarter and led by double-digits for the rest of the contest. Toronto had nine assists in the third, including four from Barnes.

"I thought he had a really good energetic game. He had his head up, moving the ball quickly," said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse of the second-year Barnes following the game, adding, "The 12 assists were huge, good vision by him, finding guys for easy buckets."

Nurse's squad were also a force defensively, holding Miami to 40.0 percent (32-for-80) from the field, their worst performance in four months. Toronto improve to a perfect 8-0 when they hold opponents to less than 100 points.

With the win, the Raptors captured the season series 3-1 against the Heat. This is the first time since the 2018-19 season that Toronto have beaten Miami in the regular season.

With six games remaining on the season, the Raptors head to Philadelphia to begin a five-game road trip which will also feature a pair of consecutive games in Charlotte and Boston.

Behind the Atlanta Hawks, Toronto currently sit ninth in the East, followed by the Chicago Bulls.

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