Thursday, June 17, 2010

Heat beat Raptors in Bosh homecoming

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Miami Heat Dwyane Wade does pulls ups on the basket before his team plays the Toronto Raptors during in their NBA basketball game in Toronto Feb 16, 2011.

TORONTO - Dwyane Wade scored 28 points, ex-Raptor Chris Bosh added 25 and LeBron James had 23 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists on Wednesday to lead the Miami Heat past the Toronto Raptors 103-95.

The superstar trio, whose assembly in quest of an NBA title rocked the league in the off-season, boosted the Heat to 41-15 at the NBA All-Star Game break, a victory total second only to league-leading San Antonio.

"I know firsthand how important it is to finish strong going into the break," James said. "You feel good about All-Star weekend. You walk around feeling good."

Toronto spectators booed Bosh from the moment he walked on the court for pre-game shooting practice, his first appearance in Toronto since jilting the Raptors for Miami after seven seasons with the Canadian club.

Bosh blew kisses to spectators after the final buzzer to a mix of boos and cheers after the game.

"It's a sarcastic one to all the naysayers and it's real to all the good supporters," Bosh said of his kisses. "People are going to take it the way they want to. The most important thing is the win. We wanted to keep our momentum going."

Italian playmaker Andrea Bargnani scored 38 points in a losing cause while DeMar DeRozan added 24, but the Raptors never led after the opening six minutes in losing for the 17th time in their past 19 starts.

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Miami Heat Dwyane Wade (C) goes to the basket against Toronto Raptors Andrea Bargnani (L) and Amir Johnson during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto, Feb 16, 2011.

Bargnani scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer to pull Toronto within 94-90 with 2:43 to play.

James answered with a free throw and Erick Dampier responded to a DeRozan reverse layup with a tip-in off a Wade shot to give Miami a 97-90 edge with 1:50 to go, sealing Toronto's fate and Miami's 10th victory in its past 11 games.

And making sure Bosh's Canadian homecoming ended victoriously.

"We're all happy for Chris," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It was not our best game but guys definitely wanted to band together and win it for him.

"We all could probably use this All-Star break right now, get a little bit of rest and get away and then make this final push in the final third of the season to take another step forward as a team and try to find our ceiling."

Raptors fans booed when Bosh was shown on a telescreen during the American anthem and jeered James as well, although he received a milder reception than James when he returned to Cleveland last December.

"It's not even close," Wade said. "You can't even compare."

(China Daily)

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