Without injured Valančiūnas Raptors lose to Miami to tie series
A Jonas Valančiūnas-less Toronto Raptors let a nine-point fourth quarter lead slip, allowing a Dwayne Wade-inspired Miami to level the series in overtime last night.
Bismarck Biyombo standing in for Lithuania’s Valančiūnas at centre put in a strong performance for Toronto with a double-double, 13 rebounds and 13 points, but couldn’t stop an on-fire Wade, who led Miami to a 94-87 victory.
Miami only took the lead with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter but never trailed in overtime. It was the third time in four games that the Heat and Raptors needed five extra minutes to decide a winner.
Once again Toronto’s star turns DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry struggled offensively, combining for just 19 points on 6-for-28 shooting while the Heat’s Wade completed consecutive 30-point games in the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 postseason.
DeRozan seems hampered by an injury he sustained to his right thumb on the final play of Game 1 but he wasn’t making any excuses.
"It is what it is. It's something I've got to deal with. Complaining or making excuses for it won't help. It's just something I've got to deal with," DeRozan said after the game.
"They came out and forced their will on us at the end of the game. Two tough-minded teams,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey told ESPN.
The series is tied 2-2 heading to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday at the Air Canada Center.