NBA: Rookie Tyler Herro helps Miami Heat surge past reigning champions Toronto Raptors

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (right) shoots as Washington Wizards guard Jordan McRae defends in Washington on Dec 30, 2019.
Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (right) shoots as Washington Wizards guard Jordan McRae defends in Washington on Dec 30, 2019.PHOTO: BRAD MILLS/USA TODAY SPORTS

(REUTERS) - Rookie Tyler Herro scored 11 straight second-half points as the Miami Heat continued their hot streak at home, defeating the Toronto Raptors 84-76 on Thursday night.

Miami has the best home record in the National Basketball Association at 16-1. However, the game between two of the top Eastern Conference's teams was marked by intense defence and inaccurate shooting.

Toronto shot a season-low 31.5 per cent, including six of 42 on three-pointers (14.3 per cent). Miami shot just 40.7 per cent, including 12 of 37 on three-pointers (32.4 per cent).

Bam Adebayo led Miami with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Herro and Goran Dragic had 13 points each.

Jimmy Butler, Miami's biggest star, missed eight of 10 shots from the field, but contributed 12 rebounds, eight points and seven assists.

Heat guard Kendrick Nunn, who on Thursday was named the Eastern Conference's Rookie of the Month, added seven points and nine assists.

He is the first undrafted player to win that award multiple times, having also claimed it in November.

Toronto was led by Serge Ibaka (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Kyle Lowry (15 points, eight assists). But the Raptors were missing three starters: centre Marc Gasol (left hamstring), forward Pascal Siakam (groin) and shooting guard Norman Powell (left shoulder). All three were injured in a Dec 18 win at the Detroit Pistons.

Miami led for all but the final 84 seconds in the first quarter, when Toronto held a 20-18 advantage.

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