Toronto won the first three quarters, but lost the fourth quarter and game in overtime when Erik Spoelstra used the lethal combination of Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo to close out the game.
The quartet of Olynyk, Adebayo, Justise Winslow and Wayne Elllington provided Miami with the right mix of scoring and gritty defense to overcome one of the NBA’s top benches in the league.
The game started off closely in the first half, with Miami having their largest lead, 35-31, at the 2:47 mark of the second quarter.
The Raptors pulled ahead to lead at halftime 53-47, and extended their margin to 78-71 for to start the season’s fourth and final quarter.
With Olynyk, Adebayo, Winslow and Ellington leading the charge, an Olynyk layup managed to pull the Heat even at 85 with 6:34 remaining.
Ellington’s triple gave Miami its first lead, 88-87, since the first half, and he continued to dominate on the offensive end as he scored his sixth trey of the quarter to propel the Heat to a 105-103 lead, with only 18 seconds left in regulation time.
Jakob Poeltl tied the game at 105 and sent it into the dreaded overtime period, where Miami had succeeded only twice out of seven tries this season.
This time the Heat defense held Toronto to four points and pulled out a magnificent 116-109 victory.
The story belonged to the Heat bench, which scored a season-high 75 points for the game, featuring 30 of 54 from the field, while the starters made only 16 of their 42 attempts.
Ellington lead all scorers with 32 points, followed by Kyle Lowry’s 28 and DeMar Rozan’s 19 points.
Toronto didn’t take this last game of the season lightly as Lowry played 37:39 minutes and DeRozan 38:29 in a losing effort.
The Heat’s final game this season left them tied with the Milwaukee Bucks at 44-38 each, but Miami’s 3-0 record against Milwaukee gave them sixth place and a first-round meeting with the 76ers.
The Washington Wizards ended up in eighth place and a first round confrontation with the Raptors.
Should Miami overcome Philadelphia, the Heat would face the winner of the Boston Celtics versus Bucks series.