Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 24 points to lead the host Miami Heat to a 112-109 win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night in a game that was marred by a third-quarter brawl.
Toronto got 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds from Pascal Siakam. Gary Trent Jr. also had 23 points for the Raptors.
With 7:46 left in the third, Miami's Caleb Martin and Toronto's Christian Koloko battled for rebound position. Koloko went down to the floor, and when he attempted to get up, Martin was standing over him with clenched fists and in a threatening position.
From there, Martin drove Koloko into empty seats in the front row. Martin was called for the initial foul. Both players were ejected for the fight.
In addition to the fight, Toronto lost starting small forward Scottie Barnes -- the NBA's reigning Rookie of the Year -- to an ankle injury in the second quarter.
The Raptors also struggled to get much out of star guard Fred VanVleet, who had four fouls in a scoreless first half. He finished with seven points.
Miami, which earned its first win of the season after two losses, also got 20 points off the bench from Max Strus.
Both teams were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but the Heat did not seem tired.
Miami got off to a great start, shooting 63.2 percent from the floor and taking a 38-33 first-quarter lead.
The Heat led 71-50 at halftime, closing the second quarter on a 19-4 run. Strus and Butler led Miami with 13 points apiece at the break as Miami shot 54.8 percent from the floor in the half. Toronto shot just 37.8 percent before the break.
VanVleet picked up his fifth foul just 20 seconds into the third quarter, but he remained in the game.
Later in the third, immediately following the fight, Toronto went on a 10-0 run. By the end of the quarter, Miami's lead -- which had been as much as 24 points -- was cut to 92-83.
However, the Heat hung on in the fourth quarter as Toronto never got closer than six points until the final minute.
The teams will rest on Sunday and play a rematch in Miami on Monday night.
If you choose to make use of any information on this website including online sports betting services from any websites that may be featured on this website, we strongly recommend that you carefully check your local laws before doing so. It is your sole responsibility to understand your local laws and observe them strictly. Covers does not provide any advice or guidance as to the legality of online sports betting or other online gambling activities within your jurisdiction and you are responsible for complying with laws that are applicable to you in your relevant locality. Covers disclaims all liability associated with your use of this website and use of any information contained on it. As a condition of using this website, you agree to hold the owner of this website harmless from any claims arising from your use of any services on any third party website that may be featured by Covers.