Thursday , Mar , 30 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Wade, Heat too hot for Toronto

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Dwyane Wade had a game-high 37 points to
lead the Miami Heat to a 98-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors at the Air
Canada Centre.

Antoine Walker had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Udonis Haslem added 15 points
and 13 rebounds for the Heat, who have won their last three games.

Miami was without the services of center Shaquille O’Neal, who sat out the
game with a hyper-extended knee. His status is listed as day-to-day.

The Heat are in solid control of the Southeast Division and lead the
Washington Wizards by 10 1/2 games. The team currently holds the second spot
in the Eastern Conference playoff race and trails Detroit by nine games for
the top spot.

Morris Peterson had 28 points and Mike James added 19 points and 12 assists
for the Raptors, who have dropped their last two games.

Miami had been trailing most of the game and were down nine points, 74-65,
going into the final stanza.

The Raptors appeared to have control of the game after Andre Barrett pulled up
and hit a jumper to make it 83-71 with 9:59 to play.

The Heat, though, got back into the game with a huge 17-5 run and took their
first lead since early in the game when Wade connected on a free throw to give
his squad a 88-87 advantage with 3:20 left. Wade was fantastic during the run
and scored the final 10 points for his team.

Peterson gave Toronto the lead back when he hit a running jumper on the squads
next possession, but Gary Payton gave it right back to Miami when he put in a
layup to make it 90-89 with 1:36 to play.

Two Wade free throws made it a 92-89 game, but Eric Williams was fouled as he
attempted a trey and he hit all three from the line to tie the game up with
45.4 seconds remaining.

Wade countered with two free throws and Williams could have tied the game up
for his squad, but he missed an uncontested layup and Haslem slammed the ball
home at the other end to make it 96-92 with 11.6 seconds left and seal the win
for Miami.

“We hope there is an easier way of course,” said Wade. “When you’re winning
games like this and come back it always builds character and it always gives
you confidence knowing you can come back.”

The Raptors trailed early in the first quarter, but nine straight points by
Peterson sparked a 15-4 run to help the team take a 31-19 lead going into the
second quarter.

Miami got to within nine points when Wade connected on two free throws to make
it 35-26 with 9:29 left until halftime.

Toronto, though, did not allow Miami to get any closer and they closed out the
half with the last seven points and Matt Bonner’s layup at the buzzer gave his
squad a 57-41 lead going into the locker room.

“I though in the first half I thought we not only played well offensively and
defensively, but we controlled the boards,” said Peterson.

The Heat chipped away at the Raptors lead and trailed by seven points when
Haslem put in a layup to make it 65-58 with 4:44 left in the third quarter.

The Raptors then scored the next seven points, but Miami closed out the
quarter with a small 7-2 run and trailed 74-65 going into the final 12
minutes.

Game Notes

Miami travels to Cleveland for a game on Saturday…The Raptors host the Suns
on Friday…The Raptors extended their NBA record to 603 straight games with a
three-point basket…Miami has won five of the last six games versus
Toronto…Charlie Villanueva had 13 points and 13 boards for the
Raptors…Miami outrebounded Toronto, 51-39…Toronto shot 44.6 percent and
Miami connected on 42 percent of its shots.

MIA TOR