Heat Check: Dwyane Wade superb in Miami victory
NOV 29, 2013 9:03p ET
Things changed in the third quarter, however, when the Raptors cut a 20-point deficit to eight.
Toronto then got as close as two, but Miami hung on 90-83 for its 13th straight victory against the Raptors.
The Heat (13-3) won their ninth straight overall and 12th in 13 games.
After Toronto pulled within 83-81 with 4:40 left, LeBron James nailed a 3-pointer to give Miami a five-point lead with 4:22 to go. James' layup with 1:22 remaining made the score 88-81 and virtually secured the win.
James, who entertained the team at his Akron, Ohio, home the day before, finished with 27 points. Dwyave Wade finished with 22.
Miami's bench contributed 29 points -- a big help especially because Chris Bosh (4 points) again was hampered by foul trouble, playing just 20 1/2 minutes.
Michael Beasley (7 points) played during the final minutes, a sign coach Erik Spoelstra is becoming confident in the forward's defense.
Toronto closed the third quarter with a 16-4 run to cut a 20-point deficit to 78-70. The Heat had one field goal -- a Ray Allen 3-pointer -- over the final 5:12 of the period. Lack of ball movement contributed to Miami's offensive woes.
Shane Battier's turnover early in the second half was the forward's first after going an NBA-record 321 minutes this season without one.
The Heat scored seven straight points to build a 34-25 lead with 9:20 left in the second quarter. They remained in control and were ahead by as many 16 en route to a 57-43 halftime lead.
Miami's defense held Toronto to 15-of-40 (37.5 percent) shooting and forced some ill-advised shots. The Raptors also had three 24-second violations.
The Heat shot 57.1 percent (24 of 42) with 17 assists. They outscored Toronto in the paint 30-14.
Wade had 14 first-half points, hitting 6 of 9 from the floor. James had 10, sinking 4 of 5 shots.
The turning point
James' 3-pointer with 4:22 to go came right after the Raptors had pulled within two points and helped ward off Toronto.
The difference maker
Dwayne Wade. He had 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Another superb all-around effort for the veteran guard.
Stat of the game
Toronto sank just 19 of 32 (59.4 percent) from the free-throw line, missing 8 of 10 in the game's final minutes.
The Heat return home to play the Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena 6 p.m. Sunday.
Charlie McCarthy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mccarthy_chas