Curry sat out of practice on Thursday and was already considered doubtful for Saturday's Game 3, so his designation as out comes as no surprise. Coach Steve Kerr said there's a "slight chance" Curry is able to play in Game 4 on Monday, but it doesn't sound all too promising. We should see his status updated after practice on Sunday, which will give us a better indication on his potential availability for Game 4. With Curry ruled out for Saturday, Shaun Livingston will continue to run with the starters.
Joseph has been dogged by foul trouble in both of the first two games of the series, but it hasn't had much of an impact on his playing time, as he frequently sees around 22-to-28 minutes an outing. Kyle Lowry's shooting woes have been an issue throughout the postseason, but it doesn't seem likely that coach Dwane Casey will reduce the All-Star's role as a result, leaving little opportunity for Joseph to pick up more minutes.
Haslem has rejoined the rotation for the first two games of the series to provide his customary hustle and strong defense, but he's still only seen a combined 15 minutes. Because Haslem doesn't offer much in the way of offense, his playing time will likely remain severely limited in any game he appears.
The fourth-year sharpshooter's biggest basket came at the 2:01 mark of regulation, a jumper that knotted the score at 80 and culminated a Raptors comeback from a 77-70 deficit midway throught the fourth quarter. As he often did during the regular season, Ross is providing some valuable secondary scoring over the first pair of games in the semifinal round, shooting 50 percent (12-for-24) from the field in the process.
Valanciunas' performance over the first three periods Thursday bore no resemblance to his 24-point, 14-rebound explosion in Game 1, but he managed to break through when it mattered most. After taking just three shot attempts that netted four points in the first 36 minutes of Game 2, Valanciunas contibuted 11 points and seven rebounds in the fourth quarter and overtime combined to help insure the crucial victory. The 24-year-old Lithuanian now has three straight double-doubles dating back to Game 7 against the Hornets, and has reached double-digit scoring in six straight contests. He's gotten the semifinal round off to a rousing start, averaging 19.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks over the first pair of games.
Although he managed a third consecutive effort of at least 20 points, DeRozan continues to require an inordinate amount of shot attempts to get there, given his current inefficiency from the floor. Dating back to Game 6 of the conference quarterfinals against the Pacers, the seven-year veteran has shot 34.1 percent (31-for-91) from the field, and 16.7 percent (1-for-6) from beyond the arc. The struggles even crept into his work from the charity stripe in Game 2, as the 26-year-old managed only a 25 percent success rate on his eight visits, after draining 85 percent of his free throws during the regular season. While a right thumb injury suffered late in Game 1 may have certainly affected his accuracy Thursday, DeRozan will need to find a way to right the ship in time for Saturday's Game 3 in Miami.
The final stat line belied the struggles that Lowry encountered yet again from the field, as he was only able to slightly improve on his 23 percent success rate from Game 1. The veteran point guard was able to mask some of his difficulties with success in key moments, as he hit two jumpers within the final 45 seconds to help insure the game went into overtime. He did continue providing solid contributions across the stat sheet, including on the defensive end, where he posted his second straight game with a trio of steals. Lowry and backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan will have to up their offensive game in order for the Raptors to have a chance of keeping their winning ways going as the series shifts to Miami for Game 3.
The multi-dimensional threat that Carroll had proven himself to be at times during his two-year Hawks tenure prior to this season finally came to the forefront in Toronto, and in very timely fashion at that. The seven-year veteran equaled a season high in scoring while taking double-digit shot attempts for only the third time in nine postseason games to date. However, although his overall scoring has largely been modest so far in the playoffs, the 29-year-old has now drained multiple threes in four of the last six games dating back to the first round against the Pacers. More consistent offensive contributions the likes of those he supplied in Game 2 would undeniably play a crucial role in the Raptors' attempt to topple a defensive-minded Heat squad and reach the conference finals.
The veteran forward turned in a rather muted offensive effort for the second straight game, and failed to get to the charity stripe for the third time in the last four contests as well. Deng has largely been successful when he has attempted shots over the first two games of the conference semifinals, but his overall offensive involvement has simply seen a downturn. He's made single-digit shot attempts in the last three games dating back to Game 7 versus the Hornets, after taking between 11 and 14 shots in the first six games of that first-round series. The drop in opportunity has been reflected in Deng's scoring numbers over the first pair of tilts against the Raptors, as the 11.0 points per game he's generated pales in comparison to the 19.0 he mustered in the opening round against Charlotte.
Although he scuffled a bit from the field, Wade managed some rare long-range success at a key moment in regulation. He drained a clutch 25-foot three-point jumper with 37 seconds left to bring the Heat back within one, after a Kyle Lowry three-pointer had extended the Raptors' lead to four. The perennial All-Star had notably tallied his last trey in the regular season back on Dec. 16 against the Nets, but has now recorded at least one basket from beyond the arc in three of the last four postseason contests. Natually, he figures to continue serving as a pivotal component of the Heat attack as the series shifts to South Florida for Game 3.