Up front for the Raptors, it was the trio of Bosh, Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu carrying the load. Bosh had a team-high 29 to go with 12 rebounds while Bargnani chipped in with 24 and 10 boards. Turkoglu had 19 to go with eight assists.
The Raps took a 20-point lead into the second half on the strength of a 43-25 edge in the second quarter. Their 69 first-half points were a season high, but it disappeared when the Heat responded with a 34-point third quarter to cut the lead to six.
While there were a few anxious moments down the stretch, coach Jay Triano wasn't about to put anything but a positive spin on this one.
"When we shoot 58% for the game, we keep moving the basketball and weather the storm, I have to be happy with the result," he said.
No team in the East has played as many road games over the first dozen as the Raptors. And while finally getting a stretch of home games has to be a relief, it's also a bit of a concern to coach Jay Triano. "Yes we've put some of that behind us but if you relax at all and think just because we're home, something good is going to happen you're setting yourself up for defeat," Triano said. "We just can't take any games for granted."
"Chris has always been able to score on the low blocks and Andrea is excellent at spreading the defence," Triano assessed. "Hedo can score, he can rebound and he can make plays for everybody. We saw that in Orlando, that he can make plays, and we have a similar situation here, where Chris is like Dwight Howard and Andrea is like Rashard Lewis. He keeps the floor wide open and gives us the ability to create. He can get inside, he can kick balls out if they help. He's big enough to see over top of defences and pick you apart. This is where the majority of our offence is going to come from."
"He played good to make those shots and he needed to make those, too," said Jose Calderon. "He's a great player. He played really good in Indiana (last season) and we missed that sometimes in the other games. He was great. He gave us those threes in the corner and put them away."
On the first, he took a smart extra pass from Andrea Bargnani with the Raptors clinging to a four-point lead and just under two minutes to go. And when the Heat looked again like they might make one last push, Jack drilled another as part of his 17-point night.
Not bad for a guy who came into the game shooting 31 per cent from three-point range and 35 per cent from the field overall.
Asked yesterday if Wade, who was in the Air Canada Centre for last night's game against the Toronto Raptors, had told him it was 28 degrees in Miami yesterday, Chris Bosh responded: "No"
The girls in bikinis? Nope.
The nightclubs? Proximity to Bosh's home state of Texas? "I haven't talked to Dwyane," Bosh said of the Miami Heat's star guard, who's made it clear he wants Bosh joining him when both players become unrestricted free agents in July.
Instead, the Raptors did the talking, beating the Heat 120-113. Although Toronto's 20-point lead at the half was cut to one after a rally by the Heat late in the game, the Raptors fought back with a series of three-pointers to emerge with the win.
"This is the intensity and push I'd like to have in most games," Raptors head coach Jay Triano said after the game, the Raptors' first home game after going 1-3 on a Western Conference trip.
Observations from Friday's 120-113 loss to the Raptors at Air Canada Centre:
“One thing you learn in this league is you don't get too high or too low,'' Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “It's a growing process for this team. We have to continue to get better and get back to being one of the best defensive teams in the league. But we have to stay together as a team.''
A Heat team that had little punch at the outset showed plenty of fight at the finish. Wade emerged from a scoring slump to finish with 30 points, Mario Chalmers had a career-high 30 points and Michael Beasley added 21 points and 12 rebounds.
But the chemistry from a supporting cast that included 17 points from Jermaine O'Neal arrived too late. The Heat's second-half Hyde couldn't fix the damage done by its first-half Jekyll.
Bosh, Bargnani help Raptors stop losing streak at three
Hedo Turkoglu talks about Toronto's 120-113 win over Miami. Turkoglu scored 19 points in the victory.
And then Jack, who signed with Toronto as a free agent after playing last season with the Indiana Pacers, came through with his three-pointers on a pair of 23-foot jumpers.
His first three of the quarter came off a pass from Bargnani with 1:48 left and made it 110-103 and his second with 51.9 seconds left came on a pass from Hedo Turkoglu. That one gave the Raptors some breathing room at 115-103. Jack had three three-pointers for the game.
"I've got great teammates," Jack said. "They're the same shots I've been getting all season and they've been preaching to me all season to" 'Keep shooting it, keep shooting it. Why aren't you shooting it?'
"They've been a positive influence on me since I've been here. I'm just thankful they are still finding me when I'm open."
Throughout his early season struggles, Jarrett Jack has kept shooting. Both in games and late after practice. Friday night against the Miami Heat, those extra shots paid off.
Returning home from a road trip where he struggled on both ends of the floor, an afternoon meeting with his coach and a pep talk with close friend and teammate Chris Bosh helped Jack turn his game around as he helped the Toronto Raptors hold off the Miami Heat 120-113 in Toronto.
"I just knew it was going to turn around for me at some point," Jack said. "Last night we had the day off, and I was on the gym late getting up shots. I didn't know when, but I knew at some point in time, it was going to pay off for me. I'm just glad it was today."
In what felt like an instant the Raptors lead had ballooned from 8 to 17 as things were starting to spiral out of control for the Heat. By halftime Toronto had dropped 69 points in on the Heat, including a buzzer beating 3 by Turkoglu off of a missed Jermaine O'Neal free throw with 3.2 seconds left. Miami had gone from trailing by 2 after the 1st quarter to trailing by 20 at the half.
When the Heat come out of the dressing room for their halftime shootaround, the players gathered in a circle around Dwyane Wade who spoke for about a minute. Obviously he was trying to rally his troops but couldn't set the early example, missing two makeable shots to open the half for Miami. While the Heat were dinking and dunking, they were still unable to stop Toronto from scoring and you can't be trading buckets when down by 20 in the 2nd half.
After struggling in the previous three games, Wade came around with 30 points.
He was supported by the best efforts of the season by the Heat's second-year players, with Beasley sparking a 22-8 third-quarter rally and closing with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and with Chalmers adding a career-high 30 points.
"I think I showed who I am," Beasley said. "But I agree with Coach 100 percent that it has to be for an entire game. I've got to start the game with that same focus."
Chalmers took little satisfaction in his performance.
"We can't let teams jump out on us like that," he said.
Lacking sidelined forwards Udonis Haslem and Quentin Richardson, the Heat lacked the grit to keep Toronto within more a manageable range, ultimately done in by the Raptors' 9-of-15 accuracy on 3-pointers.
Toronto was paced by the 29 points and 12 rebounds of forward Chris Bosh, with Bargnani adding 24 points and 10 rebounds.
First off, credit where it's due….looking on ( as I was ) at the first half display by the Miami Heat I couldn't have predicted the brave comeback in the second half. Pleased for Beasley and Chalmers that they played so strongly in that stretch and pleased that Wade seems to be emerging from his funk.
At 101 -102 Raptors you thought maybe that's when the Heat were making their final move but hey, it's hard work making up a 20+ point defecit. They simply ran out of gas……oh and the Raptors shot 60% on 3 pointers.
This team can run and gun with the best of them, just don’t expect them to run back. That seems to be a hallmark of Colangelo squads. They can put up over 100 points a night but they’ll give up 110 to the other team. I’m waiting for the day the Raps have a game where they put up 120 and give up 125 for the regulation loss. Of course, you’ll never see that game because it’ll be on TSN2. TSN bought a large chunk of the Raptors’ schedule for TV after their good season two years ago. After their craptacular 08-09, they’ve been largely relegated to the digital cable only TSN2. That’s the other problem: the Raps are hardly on regular TV. TSN has 50 games that they’re broadcasting between TSN and TSN2. I’d imagine that means that TSN2 has 49 Raptors games and TSN has 1 and so they could broadcast the all-star weekend and playoffs. They’ll only ever do a deal if it conveniences them somehow. Just ask the CIS.
The Heat’s problems grew to an apex at the first half of this game. The defense was weak and Toronto was on fire. Anything they were throwing up was going in. It reminded me of those old Jordan vs Bird McDonalds commercials where they would call the shots off the wall ,the bleachers, off Ronald McDonald’s head and hit all net . The Heat’s ‘D’ has been weak enough in this recent slump but Toronto was just unconscious, scoring 43 points in the second. But in the second half Miami finally stopped being absolutely putrid and came out with some spark and started to hit some shots and take advantage of the Raptors weak defense.
Bosh was magnificent tonight, going 10-of-14 and finishing with 29 points and 12 rebounds and Jack made a pair of clutch threes from the corner in the final three minutes, finishing with a season-best 17 in 31 minutes off the bench. Andrea Bargnani had 24 and 10 and Hedo Turkoglu had arguably his best game as a Raptor, scoring 19 points to go with five boards and eight assists.
THE FAN presents game highlights (courtesy Paul Jones) and Eric Smith's recap of a 120-113 Raptors' victory over the Heat.
Jose Calderon speaks with the media following the Raptors' win over the Heat.
In a postgame interview with Jack Armstrong, CB4 stated that if they made a few stops they could’ve won this game by 20 and it’s hard to argue his logic. After watching the Raps continue to struggle defensively, it begs the question, how long can the Raptors sustain simply outscoring their opponents before it catches up to them?
Raptors Nation will now rest their collective voices for Sunday’s throw down against “he who shall not be named” and the Orlando Magic. Tip is at 12:30 Sunday on the CBC.
– “Coming off a 4-game road swing … dealing with 3 losses in a row … Toronto was lined up for a letdown. 6-15 all-time when coming home off a 4-game west coast trip … they got a HUGE win. This team is taking care of home court (4-1) and that’s a big plus for the season ahead.”
# Aside from some early foul trouble (3 fouls in 7 minutes), Amir Johnson he had a solid first half with 9 points (4-4 from the field) and 3 rebounds in just seven minutes of burn.
# Toronto’s bench outscored Miami’s 22-6 in the first half and finished the game with a 36-10 advantage.
# Jermaine O’Neal pulled his teammates aside before the start of the second half for a players only meeting. I have no clue what he said but it seemed to work as Miami outscored Toronto 34-18 run in the third quarter to pull to within six points.
# Something that impressed me tonight was Bargnani is starting to show a nasty streak. Against Utah he snagged 11 boards and tonight he followed that up with his second consecutive double-double (24 points and 10 rebounds) while getting a little grimy. One play that stood out came in the first half when he slashed through the lane to throw down a nasty dunk in the mugs of Beasley and O’Neal – all while drawing a foul on Beasley.
This is also the battle of Miami’s backcourt and Toronto’s front court. Bosh/Bargnani combo has 53 points and 22 rebounds while Wade/Chalmers has 60 points and 11 assists. Chalmers has his best game tonight hitting 5 threes. In fact, the Heat front court ididn’t do too badly either, but it’s their bench that killed them. Without Haslem, QRich and Chris Quinn, their bench could only muster 10 points. That just doesn’t cut it on the road.
For the Raptors, this is 3rd time where the Raptors had a big lead and squandered it. This can’t continue, it seems like they relaxed and the opponent started to play better and the lead disappeared. Right now they are playing fire and they will get burn. The good thing is that the Raptors have shown some toughness and hold on to win, but I want to see the coaching staff challenging these guys to build to 30 point lead, instead of backing up.
Triano said it was a relief to come home after a four-game Western Conference swing but warned his team against complacency.
"If you relax at all and you come back thinking that just because you're home something good is going to happen, that's wrong. You can't do that in this league," Triano said before the game. “There's 82 games and we do have a tough chunk behind us yes. But you can't take any game for granted. The first game back is always a tough one."
The Raptors head coach speaks with the media following his team's win over the Heat.