MIAMI (AP)—Just when the Miami Heat thought they finally hit rock bottom, along came more indignity.
The Raptors shot 66 percent through the first three quarters, jumped out to a 23-point lead in the first quarter and wound up leading by as many as 39 in the final minutes.
“It would be hard for us to play much better,” Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said.
In the other locker room, the opposite sentiment existed.
Dorell Wright scored 17 points, while Mark Blount and Dwyane Wade each added 12 for Miami, which has lost 19 of its past 20 overall, 10 of its past 11 at home. Not that many were around to see it; the arena that hosts the team with the NBA’s worst record (9-37) had thousands of empty seats.
“Like my rookie year,” Wade said.
Chris Quinn scored 11 points and Alexander Johnson had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Miami, which committed 21 turnovers that led to 30 Toronto points. And afterward, Heat coach Pat Riley simply seemed at a loss for answers.
“We’re going to have to do some evaluation here,” Riley said.
Anthony Parker scored 18 points for the Raptors. Jose Calderon had 11 points and 10 assists for Toronto, and Jason Kapono—in his first trip back to Miami after the Heat chose not to re-sign him in the offseason—scored 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
Not only did the Raptors get a win, they also got guard T.J. Ford back.
Ford, who hadn’t played since colliding with Atlanta rookie Al Horford on Dec. 11, entered with 9:55 left in the second quarter. He finished with four points and four assists in 18 minutes, a driving dunk capping his night with 38.1 seconds left.
“I don’t think people expected me to come in and do the things that I normally do,” Ford said.
The Raptors led 89-62 after three quarters, went up 100-66 on Kris Humphries’ short hook with 9:13 left, and flirted with the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA-season-best mark of shooting 66.2 percent from the floor until their reserves clanged a few shots down the stretch.
“We executed offensively, hit some shots,” Parker said. “Defensively we did a decent job in the first quarter and from there we just kept the pressure on them.”
During a stoppage in play late in the first quarter, Heat owner Micky Arison and his son Nicholas, sitting in their customary center-court seats, were both laughing.
Must have been one heck of a joke.
They can’t be finding humor in the on-court product.
Miami’s 23-point first-quarter deficit was a season-low, as the Raptors came out and hit 12 of their first 15 shots on the way to a 33-10 early lead. Bosh had 12 points in the quarter, matching Miami’s team total, and the Raptors wound up taking a 21-point edge into the second.
“Too quick, too efficient, too ready, too good,” Riley said. “That was Toronto in the first quarter. An absolute clinic.”
Miami got within 53-41 when Wade found Ricky Davis for a layup with 2:26 left in the half, before the Raptors closed the period on a 6-0 spurt.
And in the third, all comeback hopes ended.
Bargnani and Parker combined to shoot 6-for-9 in the third, Toronto outscored Miami 30-21 in the period to take an 89-62 lead into the fourth.
Wade got the rest of the night off, and the Raptors kept pouring it on.
“Terrible basketball,” Wade said. “Maybe it’s getting away.”
Kapono made his first four shots. … The Heat were without Joel Anthony and Luke Jackson (both with flu), while Shaquille O’Neal (hip) and Udonis Haslem (ankle) both remained out with injuries. Haslem won’t travel on Miami’s trip to Detroit and Philadelphia later this week. … Wade’s oldest son, Zaire, turned 6 Monday.