Toronto Raptors pounce on play-off advantage with narrow game five win over Miami Heat
DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry star in Raptors’ 99-91 victory over Miami
DeMar DeRozan led the scoring charts with 34 points while Kyle Lowry dragged his Toronto Raptors team over the line in a thrilling finale to game five as Toronto took a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat with a 99-91 win on Thursday morning (Hong Kong time).
DeRozan matched a play-off high with his haul, while Lowry shot 25 and the Raptors took up the driving seat in their Eastern Conference semi-final series.
Bismack Biyombo had 10 points for the Raptors, who can clinch their first conference finals berth with a win in game six in Miami on Friday.
It was DeRozan’s franchise-best 13th 20-point game in the play-offs and his sixth this postseason.
Dwyane Wade scored 20 for Miami, Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson each had 13 and Joe Johnson 11.
Toronto led by 20 in the first half and by 13 to start the fourth quarter before their lead was
shrunk to 88-87 when Wade made a pair of free throws with 1:54 left. DeRozan made a pair of free throws and, after a Miami turnover, Lowry made a long 3-pointer to put Toronto up 93-87 with 52 seconds left.
DeRozan sealed it by going 4 for 4 on his free throws in the final 21 seconds.
DeRozan jammed his sore right thumb while fouling Miami’s Tyler Johnson with 8:19 remaining in the fourth. He headed to the locker room for treatment but returned four minutes later.
Lowry and DeRozan, who combined for 19 total points in Toronto’s overtime loss in game four, scored 19 between them in the first quarter as the Raptors raced out to 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, electrifying the crowd by sandwiching a pair of dunks around a huge block on Wade. Toronto led 55-35 with 3:39 left but Dragic scored eight points as the Heat used a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 55-45 at half-time.
Miami’s Luol Deng left midway through the third with a sore left wrist and did not return. The Heat said X-rays were inconclusive. Deng scored four points and missed all eight of his field goal attempts.
Shortly after, Toronto’s DeMarre Carroll injured his left wrist after being called for a charge, ending his night. Carroll went down in pain after the play before getting up and walking to the locker room while cradling his wrist. The Raptors said X-rays were negative.
Wade scored seven in the third but DeRozan had 11 as the Raptors took a 75-62 lead into the fourth.