Heat extend season-best winning streak to six games

MIAMI (AP) -- Miami Heat coach Pat Riley said he talked to his team for 90 minutes at practice Sunday, and for an hour the next morning at a shootaround.

Then, before Monday night's game against Toronto, Riley walked into the locker room with tape over his mouth.

"I did not say anything," he said. "I think they got the message."

Warding off a possible letdown against a sub-.500 opponent, the Heat extended their season-best winning streak to six games with a 101-94 victory.

Dwyane Wade was 15-for-19 from the field and scored 32 points.
Shaquille O'Neal added 27 points and 11 rebounds and the Heat shot a season-high 60 percent.

Riley's motivational tactics apparently worked.

"I've been around for nine or 10 years with him," Heat center Alonzo Mourning said. "You never ever know what he's going to do, so you can expect anything. Hey, as long as we're collecting wins when he's doing it, that's all that counts."

Atlantic Division leader Miami is feasting on a soft stretch in the schedule, and the next five games are against teams with losing records.

The Raptors lost their fourth game in a row, and the latest defeat came with Toronto on the verge of hiring Bryan Colangelo as president and general manager. He resigned Monday as president and general manager of the Phoenix Suns, and a news conference is scheduled for Tuesday in Toronto to announce his hiring.

Mike James scored 26 points for the Raptors, who won the earlier meeting between teams -- their lone victory in their first 16 games.

"Our guys had great respect for this team," Riley said. "They stung us."

Chris Bosh and Morris Peterson scored 19 points apiece for Toronto.

"I'd rather lose a close game to a tough team than get blown out," Bosh said. "I sleep better at night."

The Heat went 10-for-25 from the line, including 5-for-15 by O'Neal.

"We should have beat this team by 20," O'Neal said, "but I was messing around on the free throw line. We hung there and were able to squeak out a win."

Mourning scored only six points for the Heat, but they outscored the Raptors by 15 during the 10 minutes he played. The Heat had 72 points in the paint, giving them 156 in the past two games.

Gary Payton's 3-pointer with 8½ minutes left put Miami ahead to stay, 85-82. Wade's steal and dunk made it 98-91.

"It's all about being aggressive," Wade said. "I saw a lot of gaps tonight."

The Raptors shot 44 percent, but they sank 58 percent en route to a 34-21 lead early in the second quarter. Wade led the Heat comeback, hitting eight of his first nine shots as they pulled even at 41.

Wade also had six assists and five rebounds in 45 minutes.

"We let him dribble all over the place and get where he wanted to get to," Raptors center Matt Bonner said.

Game notes
Toronto C Antonio Davis sat out the final 18 minutes
because of a strained back. He was hurt when he was fouled on a
drive and fell hard. His status is day to day. ... The Heat
improved to 5-17 when trailing at the start of fourth quarter. ...
The Raptors went 5-6 in February. Miami went 8-2.