Heat 78, Raptors 66

Preview | Box Score | Recap

MIAMI (AP)—Playing without starters Antonio Davis and Jerome Williams, the Toronto Raptors struggled Saturday night.

Rookie Dwyane Wade scored 16 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 78-66 victory over the short-handed Raptors.

Davis and Williams are part of a six-player trade that will send Jalen Rose to the Raptors, Bulls general manager John Paxson said Saturday night. The deal is pending league approval Monday.

“Not having those two bodies affected our team,” Raptors coach Kevin O’Neill said. “Whether it would have made a difference in the final score, I do not know. It really affected us in the first half. We looked like we sleepwalked through it.”

Rookie forward Chris Jeffries, also involved with the trade, did not dress for the Raptors.

Toronto, which has yet to reach 90 points in regulation this season, was held below 70 points for the fifth time.

“We did what we had to do,” said Heat forward Brian Grant, who recorded his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. “It was a game bred for us to win. However, just like any NBA game, if you don’t bring it, you’re not guaranteed a victory.”

Toronto’s leading scorer Vince Carter missed most of the third and fourth quarters after bruising his jaw and slightly injuring his knee. Carter was hurt when his feet got tangled and he tumbled behind the basket after losing his balance.

Carter left the game with 9:08 left in the third quarter and Miami leading 43-30. X-rays were negative, and Carter returned with 5:10 left in the fourth quarter with the Raptors trailing 66-56.

“I will live,” Carter said. “(The knee) is a little sore, but I will be all right. I wanted to come back and play. If I am able to play, I want to go out there and support the team.”

The Heat took control of the game in the second quarter when Carter sat out six minutes because of foul trouble. Miami outscored Toronto 21-10 in the second quarter, including a 15-4 edge with Carter on the edge, to take a 39-26 halftime lead.

Carter picked his third foul with 2:50 left in the half.

Lamond Murray led Toronto with 14 points, only the second time this season Carter was not the team’s leading scorer.

Carter, who came in averaging 23.8 points, finished with 13 points in 26 minutes. He was only 4-of-12 from the field.

The Heat never led by less than five points after a 10-0 run in the second quarter gave them a 31-20 lead.

The closest Toronto got in the second half was 61-56 after the Raptors opened the fourth quarter on a 12-3 run.

But Rafer Alston answered with a 3-pointer, Miami’s first field goal in 4:46, and the Heat went on a 12-1 run of their own to boost the lead to 73-57.

“That probably sealed it for us,” Alston said. “It felt good leaving my hand.”

The game matched the two lowest-scoring teams in the NBA. Toronto entered the game last at 78.8, while Miami came in averaging 86 points a game.

“We played against a really good defensive team,” said Miami’s Eddie Jones, who finished with 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting. “A defensive team is going to make you win ugly.”

The Raptors attempted only one free throw in the first three quarters, that coming after Miami was called for a defensive three-second violation.

The victory extended Miami’s home winning streak to four games.


The loss snapped Toronto s three-game road winning streak, the Raptors longest since April of 2002. … The Raptors extended their franchise record of holding opponents under 100 points to 17 games. The streak began in the last game of the 2002-03 season. … Murray’s three-pointer in the third quarter extended Toronto’s streak of consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal to 384 games. That’s tied for the longest current streak with the DallasMavericks. The record is 594 games by Miami.

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