Heat 97, Raptors 94

BY foxsports • March 29, 2010

Udonis Haslem more than picked up the slack for struggling starter Michael Beasley.

Haslem scored 23 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors 97-94 Sunday night.

``I'm all about winning,'' Haslem said.

Dwyane Wade scored 32 points and also helped set up Haslem, who hit four open jumpers in the Heat's fourth-quarter comeback.

``Me and Dwyane have been together a long time and he has trust in me that if I am going to be open, I'm going to knock down the shots,'' Haslem said. ``I just feel comfortable in those situations that I am going to knock down the shot.''

Now a reserve after starting the previous five seasons, Haslem took Beasley's place for the final 25:01 of the game. Beasley finished with two points and shot 1 of 10 from the field.

Miami outscored Toronto 19-7 in the final 6:12, taking the lead for good at 91-89 on Carlos Arroyo's jumper with 59 seconds remaining. He made it a four-point game with two free throws with 22 seconds to play.

Jarrett Jack hit a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to cut the Miami lead to 95-94, but Arroyo secured the Heat's fifth consecutive victory with two free throws with 1.4 seconds left.

``Even though we weren't in control of the game, we still felt we could be,'' Wade said. ``We just knew that we had to fight all the way to the end.

``This is the kind of resolve this team is getting.''

Arroyo converted six free throws in the final 22 seconds for the Heat, in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

``I had a lot of confidence with my free throws,'' Arroyo said. ``In those situations, I knew one point was not enough. Getting the two free throws each time was important.''

Chris Bosh led Toronto with 19 points.

The Raptors made 6-of-10 3-pointers in the third quarter, but then were only 6 of 20 from the field in the fourth period.

``We had a hard time getting open looks,'' Toronto coach Jay Triano said. ``We would swing the ball and they would close out. They cranked it up in the fourth.''

Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon each hit two 3-pointers during a 16-5 run midway through the third quarter. Calderon's second came with 5:14 remaining, capping the spurt and giving the Raptors a 72-55 lead.

Bargnani finished with 19 points and Calderon with 12. But Bargnani missed two open jumpers after the Heat took the lead in the fourth quarter.

``We had some open looks at the end and the ball just didn't want to go in,'' Calderon said.

The Heat played without starting center Jermaine O'Neal, who sat out with a hyperextended right knee. O'Neal was injured in the first quarter of Miami's victory at Milwaukee on Friday night.

Joel Anthony replaced O'Neal in the Miami starting lineup and shot 6 of 6 from the field for 13 points.

``I keep myself ready for whatever is going to happen,'' Anthony said. ``I was just trying to do my job out there. Carlos and Dwyane did a real good job of finding me for some easy baskets.''

Jack scored 11 points in the second quarter, helping the Raptors build a 49-43 halftime lead after the Heat led 26-23 at the end of the first period.

``The best part about this win was the fact things were not going our way and in the first half we were not mentally strong,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ``We were able to grind it out all the way to the end and our two captains (Wade and Haslem) were simply tremendous.''

NOTES: The Heat and Raptors finished their season series 2-2. ... Jack jumped and tumbled over the Raptors' TV broadcast crew while chasing a loose ball in the second quarter. ... The comeback was Miami's biggest of the season, surpassing a 13-point deficit and win at Phoenix on Jan. 8. Although Hedo Turkoglu was active, Triano decided against playing him. Turkoglu missed the last game with a stomach illness.

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