Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 10/31

Game 1: Wednesday, October 31st
Raptors92Final
Heat97
Game 2: Sunday, December 23rd
Heat76Final
Raptors83
Game 3: Friday, March 8th
Raptors83Final
Heat74
Game 4: Wednesday, March 27th
Heat80Final
Raptors81

Raptors 83

(30-34, 14-18 away)

Heat 74

(27-33, 12-16 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 8, 2002

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 24 20 20 1983
    MIA 28 23 11 1274

    Top Performers

    Toronto: A. Davis 23 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast

    Miami: E. Jones 22 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Raptors move closer to final playoff spot in the East

    MIAMI -- The Toronto Raptors finally got it right after a month of failure.

    The Raptors, despite playing without Vince Carter for much of the first half because of foul trouble, snapped a 13-game losing streak by beating the Miami Heat 83-74 Friday night.

    The Raptors avoided moving closer to the NBA's longest losing skid this season of 15 games, set by the Houston Rockets.

    Toronto, winning for the first time since Feb. 7, also got back on track in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Raptors moved ahead of the Heat and pulled with one game of Washington for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

    "Tonight was a great win," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We needed to get a win, and to do it on the other team's home court when they have been playing well is big.

    "It's a great feeling. They've been working hard and trying hard, and tonight our defense came through."

    Miami had its four-game winning streak snapped. The Heat lost for only the second time in eight games and were coming off a road sweep against Dallas, Detroit and Chicago.

    The Heat then lost to a team that entered in a free-fall.

    "You can attribute it to a lack of concentration," Heat forward Brian Grant said. "This game was too big for us to just give away like that. You would think we would have competed better, but once they smelled blood, they jumped to seize the moment."

    Antonio Davis scored 23 points and added 10 rebounds for the Raptors. Carter, who played only 6 minutes in the first half after picking up three fouls, scored 16 points in 27 minutes.

    "This was the first step in getting us back in position for the playoffs," said Carter, who sat out the second quarter and watched the Heat build a 51-44 lead.

    Eddie Jones led the Heat with 22 points, and Alonzo Mourning added 16. Grant had 10 points to go along with 14 rebounds.

    The Heat committed 23 turnovers and ran into a scoring drought in the second half, finishing with 23 points, matching their season low for a half.

    Trailing 64-62 entering the final period, the Heat didn't score until Mourning's free throw with 6:13 left.

    The Raptors scored the first 13 points in the fourth quarter, opening a 75-62 lead on Davis' three-point play with 6:52 left.

    The Heat, who played themselves into playoff contention with a 19-6 record since Jan. 14, perhaps ran into the one team equally as desperate. The Raptors were 29-21 before beginning their tumble, but stopped their skid just in time to cool off the Heat.

    "As soon as they sensed that we weren't right, they just took advantage," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "From that point on, they just pretty much dominated us. Once they got up by six or seven, they were not going to be denied."

    Toronto wiped out a 51-44 halftime deficit with a strong third quarter, outscoring Miami 20-11. Carter, who scored only five points in the first half, had eight points in the period.

    The Raptors took their first lead at 56-54 on Davis' layup and pulled away in the fourth quarter.

    Hakeem Olajuwon had 13 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes for Toronto.

    "This game was important for us because we had been losing too many of these," Olajuwon said. "Tonight, everybody was focused. You could see the intensity on defense. It shows us that when we come together determined, that's the way we have to play every game."

    Game notes


    The first half had its share of flareups. Carter and Kendall Gill nearly came to blows in the first quarter and were assessed technical fouls. With 1:05 left in the half, Heat backup center Vladimir Stepania picked up a flagrant foul against Davis, who was then hit with a technical for his reaction on the play. ... The Heat are 10-2 at home against the Raptors. ... Brian Grant moved into 10th place on Miami's career rebounding list with 1,126. ... After scoring 109 and 103 points the previous two games, the Raptors were held under 100. They scored less than 100 points in the first 11 games of the losing streak.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    TOR
    MIA
    Points 83 74
    FGM-FGA 32-81 (.395) 26-61 (.426)
    3PM-3PA 3-10 (.300) 4-8 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 16-21 (.762) 18-27 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-43 9-40
    Assists 18 14
    Turnovers 14 23
    Steals 11 6
    Blocks 1 5
    Fast Break Points 5 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (2/1) 23 (1/1)

    Top Performers

    Toronto
    Miami
    Antonio Davis Davis
    Points: 23
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Eddie Jones Jones
    Points: 22
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1