Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sports

Raptors on verge of conference final

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan matched a playoff high with 34 points, Kyle Lowry had 25 and the Raptors beat the Heat 99-91 Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

"They're our guys," coach Dwane Casey said of Lowry and DeRozan. "We never doubted them. They've carried us all season, and they didn't forget how to score."

Bismack Biyombo had 10 points for Toronto, which can clinch its first conference final berth with a win in Game 6 in Miami on Friday.

It was DeRozan's franchise-best 13th 20-point game in the playoffs and his sixth this postseason.

Dwyane Wade scored 20 for Miami, Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson had 13 each and Joe Johnson had 11.

Toronto led by 20 in the first half and by 13 to start the fourth quarter before its lead shrunk to 88-87 when Wade made two free throws with 1:54 left. DeRozan made two free throws and, after a Miami turnover, Lowry hit a long 3-pointer to put Toronto up 93-87 with 52 seconds left.

DeRozan sealed it by making 4 of 4 free throws in the final 21 seconds.

DeRozan jammed his sore right thumb while fouling Miami's Tyler Johnson with 8:19 left in the fourth. He headed to the locker room for treatment but returned four minutes later.

Lowry and DeRozan, who combined for 19 points in Toronto's OT loss in Game 4, scored 19 between them in the first quarter as the Raptors took a 28-18 lead. Wade was the only Miami starter to make a field goal in the first as the Heat had more fouls (eight) than made baskets (six).

Biyombo had eight points in the second and sandwiched two dunks around a huge block on Wade. Miami's Luol Deng left midway through the third with a sore left wrist.

Raptors 99, Heat 91

MIAMI (91): J.Johnson 5-13 0-0 11, Deng 0-8 4-4 4, Stoudemire 0-0 0-0 0, Dragic 6-14 0-1 13, Wade 6-14 7-10 20, Winslow 3-8 2-3 8, McRoberts 3-5 0-0 6, Haslem 2-2 2-2 6, Richardson 5-8 0-0 13, Green 1-4 2-2 4, T.Johnson 0-1 6-6 6. Totals 31-77 23-28 91.

TORONTO (99): Carroll 1-7 3-4 6, Patterson 3-12 2-2 8, Biyombo 4-5 2-4 10, Lowry 9-25 3-4 25, DeRozan 11-22 11-11 34, Ross 2-3 0-0 5, Thompson 1-1 0-0 2, Joseph 4-6 1-1 9, Powell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-81 22-26 99.

Miami 18 27 17 29— 91

Toronto 28 27 20 24— 99

3-Point GoalsMiami 6-21 (Richardson 3-5, Wade 1-2, Dragic 1-4, J.Johnson 1-4, Green 0-1, Deng 0-1, T.Johnson 0-1, Winslow 0-1, McRoberts 0-2), Toronto 7-17 (Lowry 4-9, Ross 1-1, DeRozan 1-1, Carroll 1-2, Patterson 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMiami 44 (J.Johnson 8), Toronto 39 (Lowry 10). AssistsMiami 12 (Wade, T.Johnson 4), Toronto 16 (Lowry 6). Total FoulsMiami 22, Toronto 20. TechnicalsToronto defensive three second. A19,800 (19,800).

LEBRON ON MVP: LeBron James won't debate whether Golden State's Stephen Curry should be the NBA's MVP this season. But he might argue about the award's meaning.

A day after Curry was voted the first unanimous winner, James said the honor can be interpreted in different ways. "I think sometimes the word 'valuable' or best player of the year, you can have different results," he said. "You know, that's not taking anything from anyone that's ever won the award."

TECHNICAL FOR DRAGIC: Heat guard Goran Dragic was assessed a technical foul and fined $2,000 for swinging at Raptors guard Cory Joseph under the basket late in the fourth quarter Monday.

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