Thursday, November 20, 2008

Toronto Raptors Cool Off the Miami Heat

MIAMI, FLA (LE)- Andrea Bargnani scored a season high 25 points and Jermaine O’Neal had 16 points and 17 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors hung on to defeat the Miami Heat 101-95 Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena.

Anthony Parker made all five of his 3-point field goal attempts, and had 19 points and six rebounds for Toronto. As a team, the Raptors shot 9-13 from the 3-point line and improve to 6-5 on the season. Miami drops to 6-6.

Dwyane Wade scored a season high 40 points, and dished out 11 assists and Shawn Marion scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Miami. Wade also had five blocked shots.

Toronto point guard Jose Calderon returned to action after missing the previous two games with a sore hamstring. Calderon had eight points and seven assists.

In what was easily Bargnani’s best game of the season, he connected on his first four field goal attempts and scored ten of Toronto’s first 14 points.

The Raptors jumped out to an early 17-6 lead, but Miami went on a 12-0 run which was capped by a jump shot from Shawn Marion to give the Heat its first lead at 18-17 with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter. Toronto had retaken the lead 25-23 by the end of the period.

Toronto blew the game open at the start of the second half. They connected on all six 3-point tries in the third quarter and then Bargnani was fouled by Marion while attempting another. He made all three of the resulting free throws. That gave the Raptors their biggest lead – 17 points - at 76-59 with 2:02 remaining in the period.

Wade responded by making a jump shot for Miami, but on the next Raptors play he was called for a flagrant foul on Toronto’s Kris Humphries. Humphries split the resulting pair of free throws. Toronto led at that stage 77-61. Wade then scored six consecutive points for Miami to reduce the deficit to ten after three periods of play.

Miami then began the fourth period on a 17-6 run which was capped by a thunderous one handed dunk from Wade which gave the Heat an 84-83 lead. Toronto responded by scoring the next seven points including a clutch fade-away jump shot from Anthony Parker to retake the lead for good at 90-84.

Wade scored on a jump shot to get Miami within a point at 92-91 but with 1:20 remaining, Raptors point guard Jose Calderon stole the ball from Chris Quinn and scored on a lay up at the other end to effectively seal the win for Toronto.

Jermaine O’Neal had ten points and ten rebounds at halftime for the Raptors and has now recorded double figures in points and rebounds in five straight games.

One night after playing 45 minutes against the Orlando Magic and scoring a season high 40 points, Chris Bosh had 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 39 minutes tonight.

Notes: After committing 24 turnovers the night before against the Orlando Magic, the Raptors only had ten tonight….It was Bargnani’s first 20-point game of the season….

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