The Miami Heat kept things interesting the whole game as a result of Dwyane Wade's spectacular play. Unfortunately the game got away from them as the fourth quarter came to a close, with the Toronto Raptors outlasting Miami to take the 95-91 win and the 2-1 series lead.
The Heat started off strong with Hassan Whiteside scoring right off the bat. Kyle Lowry attempted to return fire, but was still off.
The Heat struggled to get things going on the inside, and their defensive assignments were incredibly strange to start. For the Raps it was all Jonas Valanciunas to start, scoring all of their first 6 points. The Raps appeared hungry, and Miami was genuinely surprised.
Udonis Haslem saw floor time right away, as Coach Erik Spoelstra tried to inject some energy into the Heat’s stagnant play. Things immediately got scrappy, with Valanciunas hooking him and Udonis having none of it. Additionally Udonis got involved offensively threading the needle perfectly for an assist to Wade. Dwyane was solid early on offensively, scoring yet another three and doing work inside.
Miami seemed to struggle getting defensive rebounds with Valanciunas grabbing most.
The Raptors continued to score as the second quarter began. While attempting to box out, Whiteside seemed to injure his knee, and went to the locker room. He would not return but x-rays came back negative.
The Heat started to pick up the pace following Whiteside’s injury with Goran Dragic scoring on a fast break layup. Dragic scored again; not too long after as he tried to carry Miami’s offense. Josh McRoberts came into the game after Whiteside went to the locker room, and did a great job covering Valanciunas by not allowing him to score any easy buckets and rejecting him a short time later.
Joe Johnson did some work in the midrange, scoring multiple buckets and allowing the Heat to take a lead for a split second, before Toronto went on a small run. Miami looked confused defensively as the half came to an end, obviously missing the presence of Whiteside.
The Heat would end the quarter on a positive note with a Haslem and-one opportunity.
Udonis continued his general excellence fighting for an offensive rebound and scoring as the third quarter began. Lowry regained some steam, scoring multiple threes from beyond the arc.
On a Wade drive, Valanciunas seemed to hurt his ankle and would exit. Wade brought some energy into the AA Arena with an amazing put back jam. Jonas would not return. Officiating was once again an issue for Miami as frustration fouls let Toronto enter the bonus with more than six minutes left in the quarter.
Miami’s offense was erratic, but still they managed to score on some very weird possessions. Wade turned into Steph Curry, hitting two threes in a row and bringing Miami right back into the game. As the quarter came to a close, there was a serious shift in momentum as the Heat began to take control with a Gerald Green score and an amazing move by Wade, who would tie the game headed into the fourth.
Miami would struggle to score in the early minutes of the final quarter, but would eventually earn some points from the line. Luis Scola would rack up three fouls early, putting Miami in the bonus with more than nine minutes remaining. Though things were sloppy, Miami found ways to succeed especially when Wade and Haslem reentered the game.
As the quarter entered the final five minutes, things got slightly out of control and the Raptors took the lead. The Heat would attempt to ride Wade and Johnson, but Lowry would make it difficult on the other end, scoring a three and hitting consecutive free throws.
Wade would attempt to lock down Lowry himself, but to no avail as Lowry scored again, forcing the Heat to call timeout. With 23.9 seconds left, a Wade drive would cut the lead down to one, but DeRozan's two free throws at the other end would put the Raps up 3.
Joe Johnson and Wade both had good looks to bring Miami back, but it was too little too late as the Heat lost a close one at home and giving homecourt advantage back to Toronto.