MIAMI, Fla. – Dwyane Wade poured in 30 points to lift the Miami Heat over the Toronto Raptors 94-87 on Monday, evening up the Eastern Conference semifinals at two wins apiece.
The game needed overtime to decide the winner for the third time in this series.
Terrence Ross and Cory Joseph had 14 points apiece for Toronto, which is without starting centre Jonas Valanciunas for the remainder of this series.
Bismack Biyombo had 13 points and 13 rebounds, while DeMarre Carroll chipped in with 13 points.
Kyle Lowry had 10 points before fouling out with 1:58 to play on another rough night. He and fellow all-star DeMar DeRozan shot a combined 6-for-28.
Filling in for Valanciunas, Biyombo made his presence felt early when he soared over Amar’e Stoudemire for a massive first-quarter dunk, then flexed his massive biceps in celebration.
The game was an otherwise ugly one, with a mish-mash of lineups, and looked like it might have turned into a blowout thanks to Toronto’s woeful 29 per cent first-half shooting.
But the Raptors opened the third quarter with a 17-4 run and when Ross was fouled on a three-point attempt with a minute-and-a-half left in the quarter, his three free throws put Toronto up by six.
Leading 62-60 with one quarter left, Ross drilled two threes to put Toronto up by nine points with six-and-a-half minutes on the clock. But Wade led a comeback that pulled the Heat within two points with just over a minute to play. With 12.6 seconds on the clock, Wade drove to the hoop, and his basket sent the game into extra time.
With Lowry on the bench, the Raptors could do nothing right in OT. Joseph and DeRozan scored the team’s only baskets, before Goran Dragic converted a three-point play with 22 seconds left and Wade grabbed a Raptors turnover for a bucket that sealed the Heat’s victory.
With a minute to go in overtime, the ball got stuck on the backboard on a Wade shot — a moment that summed up this crazy, roller-coaster series.
Valanciunas, who’s been big for Toronto in the post-season, sprained his right ankle when he came down awkwardly in Game 3.
The Heat are also without starting centre Hassan Whiteside, who sprained his medial collateral ligament in his knee on Saturday.
Two days after Wade sparked a social media firestorm for shooting baskets during the beginning of “O Canada,” the all-star was the first player to line up for the anthems on Monday.
Small pockets of Raptors fans, including Montreal Canadiens star P.K. Subban, who sat courtside, dotted an American Airlines Arena that was otherwise a sea of Miami white. Several fans were shown on the Jumbotron in “We The South” T-shirts.
Game 5 is Wednesday in Toronto.
Biyombo had seven points in a first quarter that saw the Raptors shoot just 37 per cent, and Miami took a 25-21 lead into the second.
A Carroll three-pointer tied the game at 35-35, but the Heat hit back with a 9-0 run to take a 44-35 lead into halftime.