Toronto Raptors

Five takeaways from the Toronto Raptors' 10-point win over the Miami Heat

Josh Richardson contests a Kawhi Leonard layup (NBA Getty Images)

The Raptors moved to 17-4 on the season with a 10-point win over the Miami Heat Sunday night - it's their fifth-straight win after two-consecutive home losses to the Pelicans and Pistons, which are nearly a distant memory now.

Toronto built an early lead, got out to a massive lead in the third, but Miami did not go away without a fight. Ultimately, the Raptors prevailed thanks to a complete team effort, from the starters to the reserves.

Here are five takeaways from the Raptors' 10-point win.

Toronto Raptors (NBA Getty Images)

01 The versatile Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam just continues to impress in a multitude of ways.

The Raptors breakout star had his sixth 20-point game of the season, finishing with 21 points (on 8-for-9 shooting), six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in 30 minutes of action.

Siakam's impact goes beyond what can be measured with stats. As he has so much throughout the season, Siakam continued to push the ball on the break Sunday, keeping the Heat's defence scrambling, while the Raptors' offence benefitted.

While just one of Siakam's three assists actually came in transition, his impact is felt in plays such as this one, where his pass led to an assist.

Fred VanVleet (NBA Getty Images)

02 C.J., Delon & Fred

As Toronto has dealt with the deviation from static lineups and injury early on in the 2018-19 season, its bench has yet to establish a clear identity.

The win over Miami was a step in the right direction, as C.J. Miles, Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet all made timely contributions. Each member of the trio scored 10 points apiece while shooting a combined 5-for-11 from deep; Miles connected on two of his six 3-point attempts. An encouraging sign for Miles, who is working to emerge from a slump, is that he hit his first 3-pointer of the night.

Wright's two 3-pointers came on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter and were big in establishing a cushion that was somewhat of a baseline for Toronto throughout the win.

Dwyane Wade (NBA Getty Images)

03 Vintage Dwyane Wade

It's three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade's 16th and final season, but he looked like he had plenty left in the tank Sunday.

The 36-year-old scored 35 points (on 13-for-22 shooting) in 34 minutes of action off the bench, a Heat franchise-record for a reserve. Wade turned back the clock, delivering a number of dazzling plays and finishes to try and keep his team in the game.

Although it came in a loss, Sunday night's performance will certainly be one of the best moments of the final year of Wade's Hall-of-fame career,

Hassan Whiteside guards Jonas Valanciunas (NBA Getty Images)

04 Points in the paint

There are a number of eye-popping stats from Sunday night, but perhaps the most glaring was the Raptors 60-38 advantage over the Heat inside.

Toronto attacked early and often, drawing three first-half fouls on Miami centre Hassan Whiteside, who is the league leader in blocks per game. Whiteside's foul trouble resulted in his only playing 12 minutes in the loss, and while Bam Adebayo was excellent (16 points, 21 rebounds), his presence as a rim protector is not nearly as imposing as that of Whiteside.

The Raptors took advantage, scoring 60 points on 30-for-43 shooting in the paint. While Jonas Valanciunas might have been the biggest beneficiary, - he finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds - Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard also made sure to take advantage of the lack of a rim protector.

Kyle Lowry (NBA Getty Images)

05 The Third Quarter

The Raptors began the third leading by nine, they lead by as many as 26 but saw their lead dwindle back down to 12 at the end of the quarter.

It's said that basketball is a game of runs - that much held true in the third frame. Toronto opened up a 26 point lead with their furious 25-8 run to open the quarter, but Miami ended the quarter on a 27-13 run of its own to make things much more manageable.

The Raptors built a big enough cushion to where the Heat could never get within striking distance, but after relinquishing big leads to Detroit and Orlando, letting teams back in could be a cause for concern moving forward.

As this team continues to figure each other (and the coaching staff) out, they should become better about playing with a lead, but they might not be able to afford any letdowns similar to that of the Pistons loss when looking to establish themselves at the top of the East.

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