With his team down two games to one, and entering Game 4 without Hassan Whiteside because of a knee injury, Dwyane Wade carried the Heat through another OT game against the Raptors and Miami pulled out a 94-87 victory to even the series.
Flash took matters into his hands early and reigned in seven points on 2/3 shooting in the first quarter. Amar’e Stoudemire, who got the start in place of Whiteside, scored four along with Luol Deng, and Justise Winslow. Miami shot 56% and pulled ahead of Toronto 25-21, mainly because DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry still failed to find their shooting touches. Combined, the duo shot 2/8 for eight points with DeRozan having five of them. Bismack Biyombo led Toronto with eight, including an absolute hammer of a dunk on Stoudemire.
It only got worse for Toronto in the second. They tallied just 14 points on 23% shooting, and their All-Star backcourt shot 1/11 combined. Rookie Norman Powell had five points in limited action off the bench to lead the team. Luckily, their defense didn’t falter and held the Heat to 19 points on a respectable shooting percentage of 40. Wade tallied eight in the period while Joe Johnson‘s four points gave the Heat a little bit more breathing room heading into the break. As the first half concluded, Miami lead 44-35.
The Raptors’ offense caught fire in the third. And no, it wasn’t DeRozan or Lowry. It was DeMarre Carroll — the driving force behind their Game 2 victory — who powered Toronto to a 27-point quarter. Carroll was a perfect 5/5 in the period, finished with ten points, and helped the Raptors bring their field goal percentage to almost 65 for the quarter. Miami, on the other hand, looked a lot worse than their first half and finished with 16 points on 37.5% shooting. Wade was kept in check and had four points on just three field goal attempts. Goran Dragic had six to lead the team, but four of five starters recorded a plus/minus of -11 for the period. Toronto took a 62-60 leading going into the fourth.
In Game 3, Dwyane Wade’s late-game performance wasn’t enough to seal the win. Monday was very different. In less than eight minutes of action, Wade poured in nine points on 4/6 shooting to spur Miami’s 23-point quarter — this included the finger roll with 12.6 seconds left to tie the game. Iso-Joe was clutch as well and made five trips to the foul line to help Wade’s push to overtime. The Raptors swung just as hard in the period, and Cory Joseph and Terrence Ross had six points each to keep Toronto from going down in regulation.
It’s worth noting that DeRozan played just 1:38 of the fourth quarter despite not being in foul trouble; Lowry entered with four fouls and picked up his final two with less than two minutes to play.
Miami played stifling defense in the overtime period and limited Toronto to just four points on 33% shooting. While Wade didn’t have a record-setting overtime like Curry did that night, he didn’t need to. Five different Heat players accounted for the 11 points that Miami would need to tie the series.
Wade was the game’s leading scorer, by far, with 30 on 13/24 shooting. Johnson and Dragic were the closest guys on either team, and they tallied 15 each. For Toronto, Joseph and Ross were their leading scorers with 14, Carroll and Biyombo had 13, Lowry had 10, and DeRozan had nine on 4/17 shooting.
The series heads back to Toronto for Game 5 which will be this Wednesday at 8:00 PM EST.