Raptors Open Big Back-To-Back With Costly Loss To Heat

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March 28, 2010

MIAMI (CP) -- Udonis Haslem more than picked up the slack for struggling starter Michael Beasley.

Haslem scored 23 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors 97-94 Sunday night.

``I'm all about winning,'' Haslem said.

Dwyane Wade scored 32 points and also helped set up Haslem, who hit four open jumpers in the Heat's fourth-quarter comeback.

``Me and Dwyane have been together a long time and he has trust in me that if I am going to be open, I'm going to knock down the shots,'' Haslem said. ``I just feel comfortable in those situations that I am going to knock down the shot.''

Now a reserve after starting the previous five seasons, Haslem took Beasley's place for the final 25:01 of the game. Beasley finished with two points and shot 1 of 10 from the field.

Miami outscored Toronto 19-7 in the final 6:12, taking the lead for good at 91-89 on Carlos Arroyo's jumper with 59 seconds remaining. He made it a four-point game with two free throws with 22 seconds to play.

Jarrett Jack hit a three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to cut the Miami lead to 95-94, but Arroyo secured the Heat's fifth consecutive victory with two free throws with 1.4 seconds left.

``Even though we weren't in control of the game, we still felt we could be,'' Wade said. ``We just knew that we had to fight all the way to the end.

``This is the kind of resolve this team is getting.''

Arroyo converted six free throws in the final 22 seconds for the Heat, in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

``I had a lot of confidence with my free throws,'' Arroyo said. ``In those situations, I knew one point was not enough. Getting the two free throws each time was important.''

Chris Bosh led Toronto with 19 points.

The Raptors made 6-of-10 three-pointers in the third quarter, but then were only 6 of 20 from the field in the fourth period.

``We had a hard time getting open looks,'' Toronto coach Jay Triano said. ``We would swing the ball and they would close out. They cranked it up in the fourth.''

Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon each hit two three-pointers during a 16-5 run midway through the third quarter. Calderon's second came with 5:14 remaining, capping the spurt and giving the Raptors a 72-55 lead.

Bargnani finished with 17 points and Calderon with 12. But Bargnani missed two open jumpers after the Heat took the lead in the fourth quarter.

``We had some open looks at the end and the ball just didn't want to go in,'' Calderon said.

The Heat played without starting centre Jermaine O'Neal, who sat out with a hyperextended right knee. O'Neal was injured in the first quarter of Miami's victory at Milwaukee on Friday night.

Joel Anthony replaced O'Neal in the Miami starting lineup and shot 6 of 6 from the field for 13 points.

``I keep myself ready for whatever is going to happen,'' Anthony said. ``I was just trying to do my job out there. Carlos and Dwyane did a real good job of finding me for some easy baskets.''

Jack scored 11 points in the second quarter, helping the Raptors build a 49-43 halftime lead after the Heat led 26-23 at the end of the first period.

``The best part about this win was the fact things were not going our way and in the first half we were not mentally strong,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ``We were able to grind it out all the way to the end and our two captains (Wade and Haslem) were simply tremendous.''

NOTES: The Heat and Raptors finished their season series 2-2. ... Jack jumped and tumbled over the Raptors' TV broadcast crew while chasing a loose ball in the second quarter. ... The comeback was Miami's biggest of the season, surpassing a 13-point deficit and win at Phoenix on Jan. 8. Although Hedo Turkoglu was active, Triano decided against playing him. Turkoglu missed the last game with a stomach illness.