Heat vs. Raptors final score: Heat need big fourth quarter to put away Toronto, 102-97

Jan 5, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) takes a breather during the first half against the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors rode a huge game from DeMar DeRozan to a five-point lead at the end of three quarters, but LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade combined to score 18 of the Heat’s 23 fourth quarter points to pull out a 102-97 victory on Sunday evening in Miami.

The Heat were playing on the second night of a back-to-back after playing in Orlando on Saturday, and were clearly sluggish for the entirety of the contest. The Raptors, on the other hand, played yet another good game. DeRozan put up 26 points (11-19 FG, 1-4 3PT, 3-4 FT), 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and just a single turnover, while Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas each scored 17 points of their own.

The Raptors trailed by one point at halftime and as mentioned, led by five points heading into the final frame. Ultimately, James scored 30 points on 12 of 18 shooting from the field, and also added 5 assists and 4 rebounds. There wasn’t much else on the Heat to write home about, as Wade and Bosh really only came alive in the final minutes.

Michael Beasley’s resurgence continued, however, as he shot a crazy (for the old version of Beasley) 7 of 12 from the field, putting up 17 points as Miami’s second-leading scorer in the tilt. The Heat need him to continue to play better and better, allowing Erik Spoelstra to rely less on some of the older players that will see much heavier minutes come playoff time.

The Heat improved to 26-8 on the season, while the Raptors fell to 16-16, included a nice 10-8 mark on the road.

Topics: Chris Bosh, DeMar DeRozen, Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Miami Heat, Michael Beasley, NBA, Toronto Raptors

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