Raptors Surprise Heat For First Victory
Toronto 107, Miami 94
TORONTO, Nov. 20 (Ticker) -- The first win of the season for the Toronto Raptors was a big one.
The Raptors ended their season-opening nine-game losing streak with a stirring 107-94 victory over the star-studded Miami Heat, riding a fourth-quarter rally sparked by the dependable Chris Bosh and the resurgent Jalen Rose.
"It feels good," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "We're not going to say, 'It feels like more than one (win) because it's just one (win).' I'm happy for those guys in there. You look at how we started the first quarter, I thought we were getting good shots (and) we just weren't making them. I think in the last three quarters, we scored 94 points."
"You won't hear me say this very often, but tonight they wanted to win a lot more than we did," said Miami coach Stan Van Gundy, whose team had a four-game winning streak snapped. "They had a lot more resolve down the stretch. When you're hoping teams miss and hoping you make, you deserve to lose and they deserve to win."
Bosh registered his seventh straight double-double with a season-high 27 points and 12 rebounds, adding three blocks. He triggered a game-ending 27-9 surge and also had the hoop that gave Toronto the lead for good.
"It's always great to get a win - it's a real confidence-booster," Bosh said. "We know that we can play with any team in the NBA if we focus in and do the things we're supposed to do. I feel I have to rebound and score, not necessarily getting double-doubles. I think I help my team a lot when I do those things."
Rose scored 10 of his 22 points in the final five minutes, draining a 3-pointer and sinking 7-of-8 free throws in the last minute to seal the elusive win. The veteran swingman bounced back nicely after experiencing his first scoreless game in nearly seven years Wednesday vs. Philadelphia.
"I've scored 22 before, I think it just matters that we won the game," Rose said. "I'm just happy for the guys because I'm disappointed about myself the whole entire season. I haven't played the way I'm capable of playing."
Mike James scored seven of his 25 points during the closing burst and rookie Charlie Villanueva also contributed a pair of key hoops for the Raptors, who ended their longest losing streak since a 12-game skid from December 18, 2002-January 10, 2003.
"We basically just fought for 48 minutes and when we went up one we just took control of the game from there," said James, who scored 14 points in the final period. "The guys are learning what our role is and understanding what it takes to win a game."
Dwyane Wade had a season-high 33 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Heat but did not get much help from his teammates down the stretch as he scored 11 of Miami's last 17 points.
"(Toronto) was 0-9 but they are a good team," said Wade, who made 14-for-29 shots. "We knew they weren't going to give up. They did a good job of coming back and getting the lead and not letting us come back. Give them credit."
Wade had a pair of corner jumpers around a driving layup before finding Jason Kapono for a 3-pointer that gave the Heat an 86-80 lead with 6:03 to go. But Bosh put home two inside buckets around Rose's 3-pointer, starting the rally and giving the Raptors the lead for good.
The teams traded hoops before Toronto took control. James drove for a layup, Villanueva finished a fast break, James beat the shot clock with a deep 3-pointer and Bosh banked in a jumper for a 98-88 lead with 1:14 remaining.
Rose sealed it with his free throws as the crowd of 17,594 at the Air Canada Centre let go of nearly three weeks of frustration.
"Everybody is going to win a game sooner or later in the NBA," Miami guard Gary Payton said. "It just so happens they beat us."