Heat move atop East, beat Raptors 93-83

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 31, 2014 at 10:08 pm •  Published: March 31, 2014
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Greivis Vasquez scored 17 points, DeMar DeRozan scored 16 and Jonas Valanciunas finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors. Steve Novak added 13 for Toronto, which lost Kyle Lowry to a sore left knee late in the third quarter after he collided with James.

"It was a hard-fought game — basketball at a high level," Vasquez said. "We lost it in the third period. We came out too relaxed. We didn't attack the basket. Everything worked for them."

Lowry's knee swelled, Raptors coach Dwane Casey said, and that hardly sounds like good news for a team fighting for the No. 3 spot in the East.

"He bumped knees," Casey said. "It puffed up a little bit. X-rays were negative. We just have to wait and see how he is tomorrow."

The Heat were down 10 midway through the second quarter, and then closed the half on a 22-9 run to take the lead and never trailed again.

Bosh had consecutive baskets in the fourth quarter, the last of them an easy breakaway, to put Miami up by nine. A possession later, after a 3-pointer from Vasquez, James split a pair of defenders on the dribble and found Toney Douglas for a right-wing 3. And after a stop on the ensuing Miami trip, James got a wild layup to fall while getting fouled.

Moments later, the Heat could look at the standings and finally see themselves on top.

"We could still lose it," Bosh said. "That reality is there. We just have to keep concentrating on what we've been doing."

NOTES: Miami has now won 15 straight against the Raptors, the last 14 of those meetings coming since Bosh left Toronto and joined the Heat during the summer of 2010. ... Monday was the start of a five-game homestand for the Heat, who face Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York and Brooklyn.