(Tampa) Kyle Lowry scored 25 points, but the Miami Heat still beat the Toronto Raptors 117-105 on Friday night.
The Raptors played their first game at their temporary home at Amalie Arena, which hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL games.
In his first outing of the season, Lowry had a three-point shot after barely a minute of play. He had six of the Raptors’ first eight points and he had six of his 10 over-the-top shots. arch in 27 minutes.
Pascal Siakam collected 14 points while Montrealer Chris Boucher added 11 points for the Torontonians.
KZ Okpala led the Heat with 21 points. Canadian Kelly Olynyk had 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Raptors announced on November 20 that they would play in Tampa due to travel restrictions in Canada and increasing COVID-19 cases in Ontario.
They have since built a first-class training facility in two ballrooms in a downtown hotel. They then took to the Amalie Arena, where even their 2019 championship banner was hoisted to the ceiling.
The Toronto squad will host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night to kick off their season.
On Friday, the Raptors led 24-23 after a disheveled first quarter for both teams.
Okpala dunked on the Heat’s unanswered eight-point streak to put his team ahead by 10 points late in the second quarter. The Raptors responded, however, to close the gap to 58-56 at the half.
The Heat went on a 10-0 streak in the third quarter and 15-0 in the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach of their opponents.
It was the Raptors’ first game in front of fans since March 9 in Utah. During the season, a maximum of 3,800 fans will be able to attend their games.