James scores 30, Beasley adds 17, Miami rallies in 4th quarter and tops Raptors 102-97 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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James scores 30, Beasley adds 17, Miami rallies in 4th quarter and tops Raptors 102-97

Toronto Raptors defenders Amir Johnson (15) and Jonas Valanciunas (17) try to block Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) from taking a shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday .Jan. 5, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
January 05, 2014 - 5:38 PM

MIAMI - LeBron James scored 30 points, Michael Beasley came off the bench to add 17 and the Miami Heat held on down the stretch to beat the Toronto Raptors 102-97 Sunday night.

Dwyane Wade scored 14 points and Chris Bosh grabbed 11 rebounds for the Heat, who successfully overcame a deficit entering the fourth quarter for the seventh time in 13 tries. Miami was down by five entering the fourth, then opened the final period with a 7-0 run and never trailed again.

DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points on 11 for 19 shooting for Toronto, which was bidding for its first six-game winning streak since April 2007. Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas each scored 17 for the Raptors, who got 14 from Kyle Lowry.

Toronto had a slew of late chances. Johnson could have given the Raptors the lead with 25 seconds left, but his 4-footer contested by Bosh bounced off the rim. And Lowry's 3-pointer with Toronto down by three with 6 seconds left also bounced off the iron, with James corralling that rebound and sealing the win with a pair of free throws with 4.1 seconds left.

A night after making all nine of his shots in Orlando, Bosh shot just 2 for 9, but his hook in the lane with 8:57 left put the Heat on top 86-84 and capped the flurry that opened the fourth.

DeRozan had 18 by halftime on 8-for-10 shooting, and after 10 lead changes and seven ties Miami held only a 52-51 lead at the break.

But before long, the Heat would lose both the upper hand and their starting point guard.

Miami announced early in the third quarter that Mario Chalmers would not return because of tendinitis in his right Achilles', though he played 15 minutes in the first half, representing about his usual workload. While that news was settling in, Toronto was starting to take off, with a 12-2 run not long after halftime giving the Raptors a seven-point edge.

The margin grew to nine with 4:56 left in the third on an inside score by Valanciunas, who had 10 in the quarter on 4-for-4 shooting. Miami ripped off nine straight points to tie the game, but Lowry — who also made a pair of 3-pointers in the period — closed the third with a jumper that put Toronto up 84-79 going into the fourth.

Without Chalmers, Roger Mason Jr. got five minutes of second-half playing time for the Heat, his lone basket coming when he rattled in a right-corner 3-pointer to start Miami's fourth-quarter rally. Unless the Heat decide to part ways beforehand, Mason Jr.'s contract becomes guaranteed for the remainder of the season on Tuesday.

NOTES: Miami F Shane Battier (left quad strain) hoped to play Sunday but was inactive, along with C Greg Oden (knee rehab). F-C Tyler Hansbrough (sprained left ankle) was out for Toronto, only the seventh time the Raptors lost someone for a game because of injury this season. ... Instead of flying to Indianapolis after the game, the Raptors opted to stay another night in Miami because of the snow and extreme cold in the Midwest. Toronto plays at Indiana on Tuesday. ... It was James' 250th regular-season game with the Heat. He's reached double digits in scoring in every one.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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