Heat top Raptors, tie best start in franchise history

The Miami Heat survived another comeback attempt on Sunday, holding off the visiting Toronto Raptors late rally and picking up a 95-89 win. The Heat were up by 15 points with 6:19 left in the 4th quarter, but Toronto came storming back and trimmed Miami's lead all the way down to 3 thanks to a 12-0 run. LeBron James answered with four straight points and the Heat put the game away.

James scored 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting, going 10-for-12 from the charity stripe and adding 9 rebounds and 2 assists. That's LeBron's lowest assist total of the season and it broke a streak of 25-consecutive games that James had at least 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Still, the Heat moved to 11-2 on the season when LeBron scores at least 30 points.

Facing his former team, Chris Bosh shot just 3-of-13, finishing with 12 points and 8 rebounds. He did come away with one of the best plays of the game, taking the ball from behind the 3-point line and dribble-driving his way to the rim, slamming the ball home. The play was extra special because Bosh didn't have the ball in his hands until there was 5 seconds left on the shot clock.

Toronto was led by their young star DeMar DeRozan. He scored 25 points and went 9-of-11 from the free throw line, adding a couple nice dunks. As for the Heat, it was their 10th win in their last 12 games. They now hold a 2-game lead over Atlanta in the Southeast Division, and trail the Bulls by just one game for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

GAME NOTES

  • The Heat are now 18-6, which ties a franchise mark for the best start to a season. Miami also went 18-6 in the 96-97 and 98-99 seasons.
  • Udonis Haslem drew a pair of charges in the game. He leads the Heat with 14 offensive fouls drawn this season.
  • LeBron James leads the NBA in 1st quarter scoring, averaging 9.1 points in games' opening 12 minutes.
  • LeBron and D-Wade combined to score 22 of Miami's 31 opening quarter points.
  • Mario Chalmers put up 11 points, adding 4 assists, 2 rebounds and steals.
  • Rio also went 3-of-5 from downtown, and has shot 13-for-21 (61.9%) in his last 4 games.
  • After turning the ball over 6 times in the 1st quarter, Miami gave the ball away just 8 more times through the remainder of the game.
  • This was the second year in a row that the Heat hosted a game on Super Bowl Sunday. They beat the Clippers last season on a game that began at noon.

Miami's next game comes on Tuesday when they welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to South Florida. It will be the first of three games in four nights for the Heat, who will begin a very quick 6-game road trip on Wednesday in Orlando.

Enjoy the Super Bowl everyone!

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