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Now that they've made an early statement as one of the Eastern Conference's top teams, the Toronto Raptors are hoping to learn from their first setback.
With the best start in club history behind them, the Raptors will try to cap their road swing in positive fashion Sunday night with their third straight win against the Miami Heat.
Toronto trailed by 10 points after one quarter Wednesday before storming back for a 103-98 win at Oklahoma City to open 5-0 for the first time. The club overcame a 15-point first quarter Friday, but was outscored 28-18 in the fourth en route to a 92-87 loss at Orlando.
The two-time defending Atlantic Division champions would like to put an end to the troubling run of slow starts in the last of this four-game trip, having gone a combined 8 for 41 from the field to total 28 points in the opening 12 minutes of their last two games. That could be a difficult task against the Heat, who have outscored their opponents 48-31 in the first quarter of their last two contests.
"We're a winning team (now)," guard DeMar DeRozan, who scored a game-high 23 against the Magic, told the team's official website. "Teams are going to be going after us. Good thing that it's early. We can learn from it and try to get another one back on Sunday."
The key could be on the offensive end. Toronto shot just 23 percent in the first half versus Orlando and finished at a season-low 34.9 percent overall. The Raptors also have shot 15 for 54 (27.8 percent) from 3-point range on the trip after going 5 for 23 on Friday.
Kyle Lowry, DeMarre Carroll and Luis Scola went a combined 12 for 30 (30.0 percent) against the Magic. Lowry has gone 11 for 30 over his last two games, while Carroll is 8 for 33 on the road swing.
"Again it's our starts," coach Dwane Casey said. "We've got to come out and play with force on the offensive end. Not only the start, throughout the game."
The Raptors had dropped 16 straight versus Miami - which had LeBron James in most of those games - before taking the last two of the three meetings in 2014-15. DeRozan has averaged 24.0 points on 51.4 percent shooting in his past four visits to American Airlines Arena.
Although they've alternated between wins and losses over their first six games, the Heat have allowed an average of 90.3 points on 40.4 percent shooting in their last four. They also rank among the league's leaders in defending the 3-point line, limiting opponents to 28.6 percent.
Miami has turned its focus to a seven-game homestand following Friday's 90-87 loss at Indiana.
"All I'm thinking about is getting out of here as quickly as we can, get our rest and get ready for a big one in our building to kick that thing off," coach Erik Spoelstra said.
After averaging 22.2 points on 49.4 percent shooting in his first five games, Dwyane Wade had nine on 4-of-15 shooting versus Indiana. He totaled 55 points in the two losses to the Raptors last season.
Chris Bosh, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds Friday, didn't play in either of those meetings while dealing with blood clots in his lungs. Miami is 11-0 when he plays against his former team.
Gerald Green isn't expected to return after he was hospitalized for an undisclosed illness.