MIAMI, March 21 (Ticker) -- Caron Butler
scored 22 points and fellow
rookie Rasual Butler
added 18 as the Miami Heat snapped a
six-game home losing streak with a 107-98 victory over the
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contributed 18 points off the bench and Brian Grant
had 12 and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who halted a four-game
overall with just their second win in 10 contests.
"Of all the things that have gone wrong this year, the inability
to at least play .500 at home or to be more consistent at home,
to raise the level of energy or effort at home regardless of
who comes in, that's been the disappointing thing," Miami coach
Pat Riley said.
"Somewhere along the way, we have to try to get back home-court
advantage. This building has not been one that has been
intimidating to anyone. It used to be. We'd always win 30 to
33 games at home, but it has been difficult for us."
scored 30 points, but Toronto dropped its sixth
straight road game. The Raptors played without starting center
, who suffered a bruised right knee in Wednesday's
win over Atlanta.
"Our big stud, Antonio, was out tonight," Carter said. "He
brings a presence, so I wasn't too sure how they were going to
play our low post game defensively."
Miami tied a season high with 33 points in the second quarter
and took a 55-45 lead into halftime. The Heat still owned a
10-point cushion after the third period but held off a late
charge by the Raptors for their first home win since a 93-83
triumph over Washington on March 4.
"We never recovered from that (second quarter)," Toronto coach
Lenny Wilkins said. "Overall, we did not play that badly, but
when you put yourself in a hole, it is difficult to get out."
The Raptors committed eight of their 20 turnovers in the second
"Turnovers definitely hurt us tonight," said forward Jerome
Williams, who had nine rebounds and seven points in 19 minutes.
"You have to take care of the ball throughout the game. We were
careless in the post at times and they took advantage of
slapping at the ball."
Caron Butler's driving layup gave Miami a 93-74 lead with 8:08
left in the fourth, but Toronto closed within five points on a
3-pointer by Carter with 2:01 to go.
But Chris Jeffries
was called for charging moments later,
effectively ending the comeback attempt.
"The foul at the end was a momentum-killer," Wilkens said. "We
had the momentum really going. We made a steal and got the ball
back. That call really hurt us."
Rasual Butler hit a jumper and a 3-pointer to push the Heat's
advantage to 10 points in the final minute.
"When I was on the bench you could see that they were gaining a
little bit of momentum, I knew the game wasn't over," Rasual
Butler said. "It's not my job to shoot the ball, but I got a
couple good looks. We were confident in our game and we just
came out to get a win."
"Just a good win for us," Riley added. "I thought we played
well from the standpoint of energy and running. We probably had
as many points as we've had all year in transition and opened
up the lead. Got a little careless and Vince tried to take
over, but we made some plays at the end to solidify the win."
Rookie Sean Lampley
scored 11 points and Travis Best
and eight assists as Miami received a season-high 53 points from
its reserves. The Heat shot 54 percent (43-of-80)
from the field, including 8-of-13 from 3-point range.
collected 15 points and Jelani McCoy
10 for the Raptors, who clicked at 51 percent (42-of-82)
from the field.