MIAMI (AP) -- A distinct chill was coming from the sheet of ice
that will host a traveling skating show this week. And when the
Toronto Raptors lost their cool, they were finished.
Shaquille O'Neal had 28 points and Dwyane Wade added 27, leading
the Miami Heat to a 103-91 win Tuesday in a game marred by the
fourth-quarter ejections of Raptors forward Morris Peterson and
coach Sam Mitchell.
Damon Jones added 14 for Miami, which outscored Toronto 24-10
over the final 8:01, extended its franchise-best home winning
streak to 17 games and moved 10 games ahead of Detroit in the
Eastern Conference standings. The Heat could clinch home-court
advantage for the first three playoff rounds by Saturday.
"Sometimes we come out fast, sometimes we don't," Wade said.
"But as long as we end strong, that's all we really care about."
Miami led by six points with 3:46 left when Wade drove the lane
and was fouled by Peterson. The two got tangled up, exchanged words
and were separated -- but Peterson kept shouting as O'Neal tried to
"He fouled me pretty hard and after the play, he fouled me
again," Wade said. "I let him know, pretty much, that you can't
Wade was called for one technical; Peterson was called for two,
drawing the second after his shouting fit.
"We were playing hard and for the most part I thought we had a
chance to win the game," Peterson said. "So when something like
that happens, (it's) your emotions that take charge. I got the
short end of the stick."
"There's nothing I can say that wouldn't get me fined,"
Mitchell said. "When you have three or four players cursing at
each other, how do you determine which one said the worst of the
The Heat didn't escape the game unscathed. Eddie Jones, who had
11 rebounds for just the 14th double-double of his career, injured
his right ankle with 1:11 left and was helped off the floor. He
appeared to roll the ankle while leaping into the first row of
stands for a loose ball, but X-rays were negative.
Jones, who received treatment after the game and said the ankle
"wasn't all that bad," and he's hopeful of playing in Indiana on
Thursday. He said he slipped on a spilled drink and was afraid the
injury was very serious.
"I'm not going to coach worried about that stuff. I mean, if I
didn't want to get guys hurt, I wouldn't play any of them," Heat
coach Stan Van Gundy said. "And nobody would get hurt. We wouldn't
win, but we'd keep everybody very healthy."
Miami led for only 1:44 of the first half, missed nine of its
first 10 shots and allowed Toronto to shoot 50 percent in the
opening two quarters -- yet still managed to go into halftime tied
O'Neal had 18 points in the half; he, Wade and Damon Jones
combined to score 42 of the Heat's points before halftime. While
the Heat was relying on only a trio, Toronto was getting
contributions from its entire roster -- each of the 10 Raptors who
logged time in the half scored at least two points.
The same threesome scored Miami's first 12 points in the third
quarter, and when Eddie Jones, who missed eight of his first nine
shots, hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 7:33 left, Miami
went up 66-59.
Toronto answered with a 13-5 run, with Bosh getting consecutive
baskets to put the Raptors up 72-71 with 2:37 left in the third
period. But Keyon Dooling and Shandon Anderson scored the game's
next eight points for Miami and helped the Heat end the third with
a 79-76 lead.
"We had to conjure up some energy for this team," O'Neal said.
"It's hard to conjure up energy for a team like that. A team like
that is always going to have a little more energy, get up a little
Assistant coach Jim Todd took over following Mitchell's
ejection. ... Raptors forward Matt Bonner had an interesting
second-quarter line: five minutes, 3-for-3 from the floor, seven
points, four fouls. ... The halftime tie was Miami's first of the
season. ... Dolphins coach Nick Saban and actor David Hasselhoff
were among those at the game. ... The 6-foot-2 Alston won a jump
ball against 6-8 Udonis Haslem midway through the fourth quarter.
Jorge Sedano explains why the Heat are being noncommittal about whether Chris Bosh will play this postseason, despite Bosh's desire to do so.
NBA referees have made several high-profile incorrect calls, or non-calls, in the final few minutes of this year's playoffs.
Jorge Sedano says the performance of Dwyane Wade and the Heat in this year's playoffs will determine how attractive the team will be to free agents this summer.