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Raptors Continue To Roll Beating The Heat At ACC

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Video: Sonny Weems | Calderon's Steal And Run
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January 27, 2010

TORONTO (CP) _ The Toronto Raptors have climbed to a respectable fifth place in the NBA's Eastern Conference standings, and head coach Jay Triano doesn't see why they can't go even further.

Chris Bosh had 24 points and a season-best 18 rebounds as the Raptors moved a half game over Miami in the East with a 111-103 victory over the Heat on Wednesday.

"It's good if we can stay there and we can keep climbing," said Triano whose team beat the Los Angeles Lakers 106-105 on Sunday. "I like the way we've played over the last couple of games and we've got to keep building."

Andrea Bargnani had 27 points for the Raptors before a crowd of 18,265 at the Air Canada Centre.

Toronto did it with defence too, finding a way to stop Miami's hot-shooting guard Dwyane Wade late in the game. Wade had 35 points for the game but only four in the fourth quarter.

Much of the late defence on Wade came from Antoine Wright, who also had nine points, including the three-pointer that put the Raptors ahead 110-103 with 15.9 seconds left. He also made a free throw with 3.2 seconds left.

"Throughout the game we tried to show (Wade) different guys," Triano said. "And we were just sitting on trapping him. We waited and waited and waited and then finally in the fourth quarter we just thought it was time to hit him and make someone else have to make the shots.

"The way he had it going for a while there it was one of those games where you don't want to give him the opportunity to take over."

The Heat finished with 44.4 per cent shooting from the field. Wade was 13-for-25. The Raptors shot 56.8 per cent from the field.

"I thought Antoine's (Wright) defence was very good," Triano said. "Antoine caused (Wade) problems and showed him a body every time he tried to go somewhere. Our bigs helped and got back. To hold this kid to four points in the fourth quarter and one of them was a fast-break lay-up, that is pretty good defence."

It was a matter of getting into his space, Wright said.

"When you give a guy like that space, he pretty much can pick and choose what he wants," Wright said. "So we really tried to close up a little bit."

Sonny Weems, starting for the first time this season in place of injured guard DeMar DeRozan, scored 10 points and had the responsibility of guarding Wade.

"I tried to shoot the gap," Weems said. "He's a lot stronger going right and he can split the bigs and do a lot of creative stuff. And going to his left he's not quite as aggressive as he is going to his right. When he's going to his left he tries to do more pull-ups and did to his teammates. So I tried shooting the gap to make him go to his left."

Miami's chances also took a dip when forward Michael Beasley who already had six points and four rebounds suffered a hyper-extended right knee with 7:32 left in the first quarter.

He returned with 7:15 to play in the first half but played only 8:28 and added two more rebounds.

"You could see that he wasn't really running or moving the right way," said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who did not feel the injury was serious.

Notes: Marco Belinelli and Amir Johnson scored 11 points each coming off the bench for the Raptors....DeRozan suffered a sprained ankle in Tuesday's practice and after not starting on Wednesday he will not accompany the team to New York for Thursday's game against the Knicks. Triano said it is not believed there is any structural damage to the ankle but the team just wants to keep him off it for a couple of days....The Raptors are home Sunday against the Indiana Pacers....The Raptors wore their white and blue Huskies uniforms against the Heat. The Toronto Huskies played one season in the original NBA.