The Heat came all the way back, but fell just short. With 1:15 left, Goran Dragic lost the ball on a broken possession, committing a costly turnover. Kyle Lowry hit a 3 on Toronto's subsequent possession, putting the Raptors up 93-87 with 53 seconds left. After a Wade pull-up, Lowry iced the game with a jumper of his own with 23.7 seconds left to go. Toronto held on to win, 99-91.
And now the Heat players stand in the same position they found themselves in the first round against Charlotte Hornets -- down 3-2 in the playoff series, needing to win a home game and a road game to advance.
Only this time, the Heat probably won't have Hassan Whiteside. Or Luol Deng.
#MIAvsTOR INJURY: Luol Deng (left wrist) will not return to tonight's game. X-rays returned inconclusive.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 12, 2016
Deng shot 0-for-8 from the field Wednesday night, and his play in this series remains a far cry from his exceptional activity and shooting against Charlotte. But Miami facing elimination with the absence of their entire front-court -- Deng, Chris Bosh and Whiteside -- would be a daunting task.
The Heat scored just four points in the first six minutes of the game, indicative of an abysmal Miami offense for much of the night. Yes, the Heat had some bright spots -- Dragic made three straight field goals at the end of the second quarter to chip into the lead after it crested at 20. Josh Richardson also made back-to-back 3s midway through the fourth to get Miami back in the game.
But the Heat missed five straight field goal attempts early in the fourth after cutting the deficit to seven. These are the types of opportunities playoff teams have to seize on the road. Although Joe Johnson made some baskets in the fourth quarter, he shot just 5-of-13 from the field and 1-of-4 from downtown. Midway through the third quarter, Wade passed the ball open to a wide-open Johnson at the 3-point line. Clank. That's the shot he's paid to make.
And Wade didn't score 30 points for a third consecutive game, shooting just 6-of-14 from the field to finish with 20 points. Wade never found himself in a groove until making a flurry of baskets at the end to cut the Toronto lead to one. On one possession, Bismack Biyombo swatted away dunk attempt from Wade in the second quarter. Biyombo stared down Wade and gave him the Dikembe Mutombo finger wave.
As for the Raptors, DeMarre Carroll also went down in the third and didn't return. That may make things even, with Jonas Valanciunas and Carroll out for Toronto and Whiteside and Deng out for the Heat. But this slugfest of a series will continue on, and the Heat will try to keep their season alive Friday at 8 p.m.