Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/24/13
MIAMI -- Returning from a six-game road trip with five days off in between games, the Eastern Conference's top team, the Miami Heat, didn't look like its championship self early on against the Atlantic Division cellar's Toronto Raptors. Toronto notched 57 points by halftime on 57.5 percent shooting, but a third-quarter rally sparked by Dwyane Wade's aggressive play put Miami back in it. Wade scored six of his game-high 35 points in overtime as the Heat beat the Raptors 123-116 Wednesday night in front of 22,002 at AmericanAirlines Arena. "It's typical for a team coming off a long road trip and some days off trying to get back in the groove, especially against a team offensively that's one of the top teams scoring the ball," Wade said. "It took us some time to get our legs into it and get our rotations down. As the game went on, we were able to do that." Miami (27-12) has won three in a row and improved to 4-0 in overtime this season. Toronto (15-27) has dropped nine straight to the Heat and five of its last six overall. The Heat outscored the Raptors 14-7 in extra time as Ray Allen added six points on a pair of three-pointers. Alan Anderson's fourth three-pointer of the night gave Toronto the lead to open overtime, and Wade missed two of three foul shots. Anderson then added a jumper, tacking onto his team-high 20 points, but Allen responded with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 114-113. Wade's hook shot put Miami ahead 115-114 with 1:57 remaining, and he sank a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 117-114. Allen's next connection put the game out of reach. LeBron James finished with a triple-double of 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Seven Raptors recorded double figures in points as Toronto scored at least 100 for the sixth straight game. The Heat outrebounded Toronto by 25 and took 20 more free throws. "(Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem) set the tone with their toughness and activity," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They really did. We didn't contain the ball in the first half, so they had to come to help too often, and our defense was getting broken down left and right." With the score tied at 109 with 53.4 seconds remaining in regulation, Bosh missed a free throw but captured a loose rebound. James, however, threw an errant pass for a turnover. Following a defensive stand, James' jumper at the buzzer didn't fall, sending the game into overtime. DeMar DeRozan had handed the Raptors a 109-108 lead with 1:07 left by hitting one of two free throws. Jose Calderon connected on consecutive three-pointers, but Bosh's bucket and James' three-pointer evened the score. Trailing 73-63 in the third, Miami went on a 25-11 run, connecting on 77.8 percent from the field. The Heat outscored the Raptors by 11 and led 88-84.Wade's layup -- two of his 14 third-quarter points -- with 3:40 remaining made it 75-73. That gave Miami its first advantage since 8:54 left in the first in a 10-8 game. "Third quarter, we knew they were going to come out and attack us," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "I thought we did good in a lot of areas early -- and again -- at the end it becomes (a matter of) we play hard enough, now it becomes a basketball IQ issue." In the second quarter, Toronto captured its largest lead, 54-39, on Anderson's four-point play. Miami trimmed the deficit to 57-50 at halftime with an 11-3 run in just under three minutes, beginning with Mario Chalmers' three-pointer. Every Raptor except Quincy Acy had scored by halftime, with Amir Johnson pacing the team with 12 points. They didn't commit their first turnover until the game's 23rd minute. With the score tied at 18, the Raptors closed out the first quarter on a 10-4 run over the final 4:42 to take a 28-22 lead. Toronto shot 63.2 percent from the field, the highest clip allowed in the opening quarter by the Heat this season. Both teams found easy buckets, with 18 points in the paint. Before the Raptors' run, there were seven lead changes and six ties. "That's a championship team," said Toronto's Kyle Lowry, who scored 13 points off the bench. "They were going to make a run, especially at home. We could've made some extra passes and attacked the rim a little stronger down the stretch." NOTES: President Barack Obama will host the Heat at the White House on Monday to congratulate them on last season's NBA championship. Obama will also recognize the organization's support of the military through its Home Strong program. Heat players plan to meet with wounded members of the military while in Washington. "It is the pinnacle of the things that we've been able to experience together," Spoelstra said. "Thankfully we have the majority of the team back. It is a great experience and culmination of that year for our organization." ... The Raptors conclude their Sunshine State swing Thursday in Orlando. Toronto will return home to face the Cavaliers and Warriors on Saturday and Monday. The Heat will host the Detroit Pistons on Friday before embarking on a four-game road trip that begins in Boston on Sunday.
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