Dwyane Wade has been in the league too long to get excited about a three-game winning streak.
“Right now we’ve got a great opportunity coming off a two-game road trip to see how we respond, see if we can continue to play with the same focus that we played with on the road,” Wade said during Friday’s shootaround. “And that’s a challenge. Sometimes you come back home, having played well on the road, and you think it’s just going to be automatic. We’ve got to do it.”
The Heat couldn’t keep the good times rolling Friday.
DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, and the Toronto Raptors used a 17-2 run to erase an 11-point third-quarter deficit and stormed past the Heat 108-94 at AmericanAirlines Arena despite a good shooting night from Wade, Goran Dragic and Gerald Green.
Wade finished with 21 points, six rebounds and five assists, Dragic scored 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, and Green provided 20 points off the bench, including five three-pointers.
But the Heat had 13 turnovers, and Wade had eight of them, more than any other player in a game this season.
In the end, there was just too much DeRozan. He scored 12 points in the third quarter and 18 overall in the second half. After Wade connected on a jumper with 6:14 remaining to trim Toronto’s lead to 90-89, the 2014 All-Star came right back down the floor and scored on a pull-up jumper.
He did that all night.
“That’s the thing about scorers in this league — if you send them to the free-throw line they get into a great rhythm,” Spoelstra said of DeRozan, who was 7 of 9 from the line in the first half. “At that point, he became a really tough cover. He started knocking down really tough pull-up jump shots. You have to credit him. He knows to to put the ball in the basket.”
DeRozan’s performance was a nice bounceback after what happened to him Thursday night. He hit a 40-foot shot at the buzzer in Charlotte for what appeared to be the game-winner. Instead, it was negated because the Raptors had called timeout. The Raptors ended up losing that game in overtime.
Friday night, it was the Heat that wished it could put DeRozan in a timeout.
Miami fell to 1-6 this season in games it has allowed an opponent to score at least 100 points.
Spoelstra said his team didn’t exhale even though it was up by 11 points in the third quarter.
“If I did, we would have corrected it right there,” he said. “It just looked like we were a step slow containing them the rest of the game. DeRozan was getting into the paint virtually every possession he wanted to.”
Toronto (17-11) came in with more road wins (eight) than any team in the Eastern Conference, and the Heat (15-10) was tied for the most home wins (11) in the East.
Toronto led by as many as seven points in the second quarter before Wade and Green started clicking offensively for the Heat.
Wade scored nine of his 13 first-half points in the period, including the jumper that knotted the score at 44. The Heat’s next trip down the floor, Green found space in transition, buried a three-pointer and drew a foul on Cory Joseph. Green, who finished with 10 points in the quarter, then sank the free throw and eventually put the Heat up 55-50 when he swished his third three-pointer of the quarter with 15.2 seconds left.
Dragic, who has scored in single digits in 11 games this season, scored 11 in the first quarter Friday, one less than Toronto’s Luis Scola, who finished with 20.