Jalen Rose scored 24 points, including the decisive free throws
with 15.6 seconds left, to help Toronto defeat the Miami Heat 94-92
O'Neal led Miami with a season-high 34 points, shooting
12-for-15 from the field and 10-of-13 from the foul line. He
entered the game a 43-percent foul shooter.
"It's all about what the team does -- I could care less about
what I do," said O'Neal, who added 17 rebounds. "I'm here for
team play, I'm here for the team to do well. If the team doesn't
win, then none of that stuff matters."
After Donyell Marshall's tip-in with 2:01 left gave Toronto a
90-87 edge, Miami's Damon Jones missed a 3-pointer and Marshall put
in a follow show to give the Raptors a five-point lead.
Following a timeout, Dwyane Wade sank a 3-pointer from the right
wing. On the ensuing possession, Wesley Person stripped Rose, and
Miami tied the score 92-92 on Wade's jumper with 38 seconds to go.
Marshall then missed a 3-pointer, but Eddie Jones fouled Rose as
both players went for the long rebound. Rose hit both free throws
with 15.6 left to give Toronto a 94-92 lead.
"I was upset at myself for having missed a couple of free
throws earlier in the game," Rose said. "I just wanted to step up
there and knock them down."
Wade missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"For us, it was like a playoff experience," said Marshall, who
finished with 16 points off the bench. "This team (Miami) is
expected to go far, and we know we have to compete with them, fight
with them for a playoff spot."
Chris Bosh added 12 points and 10 rebounds as Toronto won for
only the second time in nine road games.
"You have to have mental toughness to play on the road,"
Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "You have to have mental
toughness in this league every night. Our guys showed mental
toughness tonight, and they just hung in there."
Wade had 22 points and Udonis Haslem added 16 points and 10
rebounds for Miami, which begins a four-game road trip Friday in
Heat guards Eddie Jones (0-for-4) and Damon Jones shot a
"Nobody is going to come out of the lane on us because our guys
are not making any shots," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We
have good shooters and now that people are not guarding them it has
become a mental thing.
"If you want to be on a good team in big situations, you've got
to step up and make shots."
Rose scored eight points in the third quarter to help the
Raptors take a 68-65 lead.
Toronto led 48-42 at halftime despite O'Neal's 21 points and 10
rebounds. Leading scorer Vince Carter had only three points for the
Raptors, who took the lead four minutes into the game and led for
the rest of the half.
Carter finished with five points, one rebound and four assists.
Person was in the lineup replacing Rasual Butler, who had
started each of Miami's first 15 games. Butler averaged just four
points and 17 minutes during the previous three games. ... Toronto
began its second six-game road trip of the season. The Raptors went
1-5 on a trip through six Western Conference cities Nov. 9-17. ...
The Heat announced forward Malik Allen was scheduled to undergo a
procedure on his back Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined six
to eight weeks. Allen is averaging 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds.