USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Heat cruise to victory over the Toronto Raptors and outscore them 56-35 in the second half for a much-needed road victory.
After Friday night's disappointing loss to the Indiana Pacers, the All-Star trio of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James led the way for a dominant second half and cruised to an easy 100-85 road victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Former Raptor forward Chris Bosh had a particularly impressive fourth quarter performance with 13 points on an efficient 5-7 shooting from all points on the floor. He closed with 28 points on 12-19 shooting, mostly by the rim where he showed plenty of aggressiveness in the paint (but it didn't translate into grabbing more rebounds, with only 5 for the game). LeBron James had yet another typically strong all-around game but was simply awesome in the clutch, nailing a three-point dagger to ice the game. Dwyane Wade chipped in with 23 points and displayed plenty of aggressiveness driving to the rim. The Heat as a team outscored their opponent 48-32 points in the paint, showing plenty of crisp passing and ball movement.
The visitors couldn't miss during the opening minutes of the game but Raptors new acquisition Rudy Gay began the second quarter with ten straight points to lead the way for the Raptors and snag a 5-point lead.
"It was good to see us bounce back with a better defensive effort," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra outside the locker room. "In the second quarter, obviously, that is not the way we want to hold the fort on that end. We have to give them credit as well. They were moving the ball, moving us around and getting to some easy opportunities."
Gay ended up with 16 points by halftime but his shooting touch in the second half began fading. A 7-0 run by Heat at the beginning of the third quarter bring them to within 1 at 51-52. The Heat forced four turnovers in first four minutes of third quarter. Bosh's dominant offensive game coupled with LeBron's nine points in the final quarter to keep the home team at bay and rule out any chance of a comeback opportunity.
"In the second half we really clamped down and (we were) able to get into more of a defensive win but we had some clutch plays down the end with a lot of guys involved," continued Spoelstra. "It's good to get this one to close out the road trip so we can enjoy this evening and enjoy the second game."
The Heat closed their road trip with a decisive victory that was much needed and will face the Charlotte Bobcats tomorrow night. They have now won 10 straight games against the Raptors and Bosh still has not lost against his former trip. With the victory, Miami now has a 12-11 record on the road for the season.