Grant scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds, and the Heat held
the Toronto Raptors scoreless for the final 2:54 in an 89-83
victory Tuesday night between two of the NBA's worst teams.
Grant is assured of finishing the season averaging in double
figures in both scoring and rebounding, a first in his eight-year
"He's there every night," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "He
might not play well every night, and that's when he gets frustrated
and he gets out of himself. But he's definitely been our most
valuable player this year."
It almost appeared that neither team wanted to win down the
stretch. Tied at 83 with just under three minutes left, neither
team scored again until Anthony Carter's driving layup gave the
Heat a two-point lead with 33 seconds left.
Carter was surprised to find the lane left open for an
"With the game on the line on the last play, for the lane to be
that open, somebody did something wrong," Carter said. "I had
some nice screens. I guess they thought I was going to pass the
ball. I'm just that kind of guy. They expected me to pass, and I
took it straight to the basket."
Alvin Williams missed an open jumper that would have tied the
game, and Butler knocked down two free throws with 21 seconds left
to give Miami an 87-83 lead.
Caron Butler scored 12 points, and Rasual Butler added 11 for
the Heat, who won for only the second time in their last 10 games.
"We kept scrapping," Grant said. "In the first half, our
defense was pitiful. We talked about making a better commitment,
about really defending after that."
Toronto struggled in the second half, putting up just 31 points
and shooting 27 percent from the floor.
"We worked hard, but we made mistakes, Raptors coach Lenny
Wilkens said. "We played decent, but things just didn't go our
way. We were a little anxious with our shooting. We shot well in
the first half, but our percentage really fell off after that."
Miami put together a strong third quarter, rallying from a 52-45
halftime deficit for a 72-70 lead. The Heat opened the quarter with
an 8-0 run, and Vladimir Stepania's layup with 15 seconds left gave
them the lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Heat led 77-72, but the Raptors stayed close behind Jerome
Williams' three baskets. Toronto tied the game at 83 when Morris
Peterson hit a 3-pointer with 2:54 left.
The Raptors, who haven't had a full 12-man roster all
season, were without starters Vince Carter (ankle) and Antonio
Davis (knee and groin), plus backup Voshon Lenard (bruised knee) to
injuries. ... Grant has played in all 79 games for the Heat this
season. ... Caron Butler tied Sherman Douglas for the top
single-season scoring total for a Heat rookie. Butler has scored
1,155 points, which Douglas did in 1990. ... The Heat took a 3-0
lead in the season series, with one more game set for April 15. ...
The Raptors shot 63 percent in the first quarter. ... The Heat have
faced double-digit deficits in each of their last 10 games.