Raptors force OT at buzzer, but Heat pull out Game 1 win
(The Sports Xchange) - Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was impressed with his club's mental toughness on Tuesday.
After Toronto guard Kyle Lowry forced overtime by hitting a half-court, buzzer-beating 3-pointer, Miami opened the extra period on a 8-0 run and hung on for a 102-96 victory over the Raptors.
The Heat took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series. Game 2 is on Thursday in Toronto.
"Kyle Lowry's three, as soon as it left his hands, I think everyone in the building kind of had an idea that would go," Spoelstra said. "From that point on, I was extremely proud of the group.
"To get knocked down on the canvas like that, the air punctured out of your body, to show the mental resolve to come back and take control of overtime -- that's great mental toughness that I think we showed from there."
Goran Dragic had a game-high 26 points for Miami, and Dwyane Wade added 24 points, six rebounds and four assists. Joe Johnson chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Heat started the fourth on a 7-2 run to build a 10-point lead. Toronto responded with a 12-4 surge late to pull to within 83-81.
Dragic appeared to kill the Raptors' momentum by sinking a 3-pointer with 40.6 seconds remaining, and Miami led by six after Josh Richardson sank two free throws with 19 seconds left.
"Obviously, in the fourth quarter with them coming back, we did a lot of things wrong that we need to correct going into the next game," said Wade, who had seven points in overtime. Continued...