The Miami Heat started off the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 102-96 win in overtime over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.
It appeared that Miami was headed for a win before Kyle Lowry sank a half-court shot at the buzzer to tie the game. With that three-pointer, the game was sent to overtime. The Heat would open up OT with a 8-0 run before Toronto called timeout and got on the board. Miami would put the game away with free-throws.
The win came in Toronto which gives Miami home-court advantage for the time being. It was a tremendous win for the Heat against the #2 seed in the East. Toronto won three of its four games against Miami during the regular season.
Toronto led by two at the half and it was clear that this one could go down to the wire. The Heat would outscore the Raptors by seven points in the third quarter to take a five-point lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Heat added to their lead and played solid defense to maintain it. Miami took a ten-point lead early into the quarter but it was short-lived. The Raptors would go on a 12-4 run late into the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to only two. That opened the door to the aforementioned game-tying basket at the end of regulation.
Goran Dragic had another big day with a team-leading 26 points as well as six rebounds and two assists. Dragic was a critical piece in the first round and carried that over into this series. Dragic sank a big three-pointer with roughly 40 seconds to go to put Miami up five.
Hassan Whiteside who is battling a thigh injury did all he could in the win. The center had nine points, 17 rebounds and a block. Whiteside was clearly not 100 percent and also briefly left the game due to a knee strain after falling awkwardly. It appears Whiteside avoided a serious injury to the knee after what appeared to be a bad fall.
Dwyane Wade had another fine day himself with 24 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and three steals. Two of those takeaways came in the final minute of overtime to help Miami seal the victory.
The second game of the series will take place on Thursday at 8 p.m.