Both starting centers were out for Game between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors. So as Jonas Valanciunas and Hassan Whiteside no longer became the issue, both teams looked for a new identity. And for the third time in four games this series, it went to overtime.
But this time, it was the Heat who came out on top, winning the game 94-87 to tie the series at 2-2. Game 5 will be on Wednesday in Toronto, and Game 6 will be on Friday back in Miami.
Dwyane Wade: 30 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Goran Dragic: 15 points, 6 assists
Joe Johnson: 15 points, 3 steals
Bismack Biyombo: 13 points, 13 rebounds
Cory Joseph: 14 points
And after getting a DNP-CD in Game 3, Justise Winslow played huge minutes and made great contributions on both ends of the court. He had 9 points and 4 rebounds, but it was great pressure and activity that made him valuable in his 31 minutes of play.
The real story was watching the legend, Dwyane Wade do his thing. Wade was consistent all night and scored 30 points, including a steal and dunk in the final seconds to put the game out of reach. Wade also made the game-tying layup with 12 seconds left that eventually put the game into overtime.
Mr. 4th Quarter! pic.twitter.com/wGfWyccghf— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 10, 2016
Erik Spoelstra should be praised as well. Cory Joseph became a problem for Miami, but Spo eventually figured it out. Instead of having Goran Dragic (15 points) guard him, he moved Winslow on him down the stretch. This made a switch easier and more likely for the defense and then allowed the Heat to play better. It worked.
Spo also played small ball with a lineup of Dragic-Wade-Johnson-Winslow-Deng down the stretch and in overtime. Without the big men, and Bismack Biyombo out of the game, there was no rim deterrance. The Heat clearly made a strategy change late and attacked the rim, especially since they went 1-15 from three as a team.
Miami had a 9 point lead at halftime, but surrendered all of it in the 3rd quarter. Kyle Lowry fouled out of the game with 1:58 remaining after scoring 10 points. DeMar DeRozan had 9 points and struggled all game. Toronto was balanced by Terrence Ross, Joseph, Biyombo and DeMare Carroll.
Joe Johnson stepped up for the Heat in the 4th making clutch free throws to keep the Heat close. Then in overtime he scored, and had 2 key blocks to help Miami keep Toronto off the board. He had 15 points.
Where the game was won for the Heat
Miami lost a jump ball and let Toronto score to get within two, under a minute. But Goran Dragic got the ball, and drove to the rim for the score and foul to get Miami a five point lead. They hung on from there.
Overtime Dragon sighting! pic.twitter.com/ctGeSHZwGP— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 10, 2016
Delivering the dagger in His House!— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 10, 2016
The Heat still have to figure out some things with their power rotation and ball movement. They played better small, but can't expect to always do that. It should be fun moving forward!