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Raptors Can't Contain Heat In Fourth At ACC

Related: Box Score | Photo Gallery
Top Plays: JJ Up & Under | Forbes Plus The Foul | Amir's Putback Slam | Anderson To DeRozan
Post Game: Highlights | Casey | DeRozan | Bargnani | Calderon

March 30, 2012

TORONTO (CP) The boos that rained down on former Raptors star Chris Bosh during Miami's player introductions didn't last long into the game.

The Heat centre scored 10 of his 30 points early in the first quarter to silence the Toronto fans as Miami defeated the Raptors 113-101 on Friday night.

``They did like three boos when Chris came out and it changed,'' said Dwyane Wade, who matched Bosh with 30 points and added six assists and six rebounds for the Heat.

LeBron James chipped in 27 for Miami (37-13), which jumped out to a 16-2 lead before the game was five minutes old and took the crowd out of it.

``They way you start is the way you finish,'' said Toronto head coach Dwane Casey. ``If you start out lackadaisical like that and let them have that haymaker they're going to end it with a haymaker. And we didn't have the resistant that we needed at the beginning of the game.''

DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 28 points while Andrea Bargnani had 27 points for the Raptors (17-35). Toronto stayed closed to Miami but stumbled in the final quarter with four turnovers that the Heat capitalized on.

``Miami is a great team, so it's very hard to stop (them),'' said Bargnani. ``We did a very good job for three quarters, and in the fourth quarter they did a better job than us.''

Miami was coming off a 106-85 victory over defending champion Dallas the night before at home. The Southeast Division-leading Heat haven't been great on the road lately, having lost six of their last eight away games.

But they rarely have trouble in Toronto as Miami has now won seven straight against the Raptors.


"If you start out lackadaisical like that and let them have the haymaker, they are going to end it with a haymaker. We didn't have the resistance that we needed at the beginning of the game. We must have a better start than that."
-- Dwane Casey, on Miami runs
"As good as our defence was in the fourth quarter agaisnt Denver, tonight it wasn't that good. We didn't play with the same focus and intensity. You also have to give them credit. LeBron, Wade and CB move the ball extremely well."
-- Andrea Bargnani, on the loss
"We made a couple of mistakes and a team like Miami took advantage of it. We kept trading baskets and we couldn't stop them on the defensive end and that's what hurt us."
-- DeMar DeRozan, on the fourth quarter

The 19,883 at Air Canada Centre on Friday showed much less vitriol toward the Heat compared to Miami's last visit to Toronto last season.

``A lot less boos (since last year),'' said Bosh, who spent seven seasons in Toronto before leaving for free agency and joining the vaunted Big Three with James and Wade.

``I played a hundred billion games here and I know this place in and out and there's a lot of great memories here. Each time I come here I don't want to disappoint myself.''

Tied at 83 to start the fourth Miami pulled ahead with four points but Toronto stayed close. Bargnani and James Johnson each hit threes between a pair of Bosh free throws and Toronto was again with within one of Miami at 8:44.

Casey called a time out after Wade was left wide open to make good on a three-point dagger at 5:45 to put Miami ahead 97-89.

Wade continued to penetrate the paint and set up Bosh for an easy putback to keep it an eight-point game. Bosh followed that up with a monster dunk and Miami's lead was up to 10 points, a lead they would not relinquish.

Wade finished the fourth quarter with 13 points and the Heat finished the game with 64 points in the paint compared to Toronto's 36.

An alley-oop by James followed by Bosh's slam had Miami up 63-53 two minutes into the third quarter. The Big Three kept up the momentum with Wade hitting a three, then slamming down a lob pass from James for an eight-point Miami lead at 7:40.


64-36 Points in the paint favouring the Heat
16 Assists for Jose Calderon, giving him 10+ in five consecutive games
21 Heat points scored off of 16 Raptors turnovers
33-13 Bench points favouring the Raptors
14-4 Heat run after both teams were tied 89-89 with nine minutes to play

After Bargnani connected from beyond the arc, Johnson hit a layup with a four minutes left in the third to shave Miami's lead to 73-72. It was tied at 76 when DeRozan broke away for a driving layup at 3:29, forcing Miami to call time.

Bargnani hit another three and the Raptors went on a 7-0 run to keep it tied going into the final quarter.

Toronto's bench slimmed Miami's lead to two points early in the second when Johnson followed up a reverse layup with a putback slam dunk to make it 35-33 before Bargnani came in to tie it with a fadeaway jumper.

The Raptors had their first lead of the game at 6:21 when a Miami turnover led to a driving DeRozan layup and a 41-39 advantage.

Miami pulled back ahead when James hit a sky hook, then knocked down a jumper over Bargnani to give the Heat a 57-51 lead with a minute to go in the half.

Miami jumped out to an 10-0 lead less than three minutes into the game as Wade sliced through a porous Toronto defence to put up four easy points and grab two boards.

The Heat continued to have their way. Bosh and Wade each finished off big dunks, James made a driving layup and Mario Chalmers hit a wide-open bucket to make it 22-8 with 6:13 left in the opening quarter.

``They're one of the best teams in the NBA,'' said Calderon, who finished with 16 assists. ``But I think we did a pretty good job at the end. Without that bad beginning maybe it could be a little better.''

Linas Kleiza made his second straight start for Johnson, who came in off the bench after missing a game with a upper respiratory infection.

Notes: The Raptors were without point guard Jerryd Bayless (left oblique tear), while the Heat were missing guard Mike Miller (sprained left ankle). ... Thursday's victory gave Miami a season sweep of its series against defending champion Dallas, which defeated the Heat in last year's NBA Finals. ... The Heat have won 15 consecutive home games for a league-high this season. ... Montreal's Joel Anthony came into the game shooting 53.2 per cent, one of three Heat starters shooting above 50 per cent this season. ... Victoria-raised point guard Steve Nash of the Phoenix Sun has said in interviews recently that he would ``definitely listen'' if the Miami Heat wanted to sign him after he becomes a free agent this summer.