Heat top Raptors; regain division lead
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – With T.J. Ford’s missed three-pointer just
before the buzzer, Miami moved into first place in the Southeast Division,
downing Atlantic Division-leading Toronto, 92-89, at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Wizards were pounded by Charlotte, 122-102, pushing Miami one-half game
in front in the division race. Toronto still leads idle New Jersey by 6 1/2
games in the Atlantic Division.
Shaquille O’Neal led a balanced attack with 16 points and 12 rebounds, Udonis
Haslem also had 16 points with nine boards and James Posey was aggressive on
the glass to the tune of 13 boards with six points. Miami outrebounded
Toronto, 48-39, en route to its second win in three games.
Chris Bosh notched another double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds while
Juan Dixon tallied 11 points on just 4-of-12 shooting. The loss snapped
Toronto’s three-game winning streak.
Antoine Walker’s three pushed the Heat’s edge to 78-68 early in the fourth
before Toronto began to whittle away.
Rasho Nesterovic’s free throw with 5:23 left cut the deficit to 82-79 then
O’Neal converted a slam on the other end before Luke Jackson buried a three to
make it a two-point game, 84-82.
The teams traded two points on the next two trips down floor, but Bosh’s
three-point play with 44 seconds to play brought the Raptors within 88-87.
Posey made four free throws in the last 20 seconds, extending his streak
to 21 straight from the charity stripe dating back to March 16.
Ford had a look at the tie with under two seconds left, but the shot didn’t
fall and Miami escaped.
The Heat held a 30-25 lead after one period and took a 56-43 lead into the
The Raptors came roaring back in the third, drawing within 71-67 late in the
third on Morris Peterson’s three with 1:30 on the clock.
Miami has won 16 of its last 18 home games…Jason Kapono returned from a
sprained left ankle for the Heat, scoring seven points in 21:41. Kapano had
been out since March 5…Posey’s 13 rebounds were a season high…Miami won
the season series, 2-1…The game featured six ties and four lead
changes…Attendance 19,600…The Raptors committed just seven turnovers.