The Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors played a thriller on Tuesday night, with the Heat coming out on top due to a layup by Wayne Ellington right before the clock hit zero. Serge Ibaka would be ejected in the third quarter for fighting James Johnson.
Also, Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan was fined $25,000 and Miami guard Goran Dragic was docked $10,000 for a verbal altercation shortly after the game concluded. Instead, they almost got a heavyweight showdown between power forwards Serge Ibaka and James Johnson. Ibaka and Johnson will be missed.
A referee came in to separate the duo, before they were both sent to their respective locker rooms.
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It was good enough to fend off the hard-charging Pacers, who had won their previous two games. Johnson has the edge in weight, while Ibaka has the edge in height and is younger than his counterpart. However, it is not every day they involve a second-degree black belt in karate like Johnson. Ibaka was also suspended for a game last season for trying to slug Chicago's Robin Lopez during a game at the Air Canada Centre. The Heat could go in any number of directions based on matchups, with Jordan Mickey, Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones Jr. all potentially logging a few extra minutes. Nobody cares. I know Miami didn't care. Like I said, he's a general on the floor. "That's a question you probably gotta ask him". "Just exchanged some words". No DeRozan faces a potential suspension.
The Heat's Tyler Johnson, who had made 10 consecutive starts in the absence of Goran Dragic and then Dion Waiters, was scratched from Miami's starting lineup shortly before tip-off with a left shoulder strain.
Tensions were high for both the Raptors and Heat during the contest.
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The Heat and Raptors could received discipline from the National Basketball Association for the altercations.
After a solid season with the Heat previous year, Ellington is having his best season in 2017-18 and on Tuesday night, he helped the Heat improve to 23-17 with his game-winning basket.
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