MIAMI (The Sports Xchange) — In a game in which both starting centers did not return after sustaining leg injuries, Kyle Lowry scored 33 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Miami Heat 95-91 on Saturday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Daniella Mayor Levine Cava: 'Countywide Curfew Could Be Lifted By April 5th'
The Raptors lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 is Monday in Miami.
Lowry, who had been slumping in the first two games of the series, scored 15 points in the third quarter, going 3 of 3 on 3-pointers. He then added 14 points in the fourth quarter, including a jumper over Dwyane Wade with 31 seconds left to give Toronto a three-point lead.
The Heat’s Joe Johnson missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 16.8 seconds left that would have tied the score.
Miami was led by Wade, who scored 18 of his 38 points in the third quarter. He had 11 points in the fourth quarter but missed a contested 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left with Miami down by four.
However, Heat center Hassan Whiteside reinjured his right knee with 10:53 left in the second quarter. He had hurt the knee in Game 1 but kept playing.
This time, Whiteside, who led the NBA in blocked shots this season and finished third in balloting for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, left the game with six points and no rebounds in eight minutes,READ MORE: CBS4 Photojournalist Rafael Murciano Is Quite 'The Entertainer' With His Musical Talents
Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas, who averaged 19.5 points and 13.0 rebounds in the first two games, had 16 points and 12 rebounds when he sprained his right ankle with 8:53 left in the third quarter.
The Raptors led 55-42 when the injury happened to Valanciunas, who was hurt when he tried to block a Wade layup and fell awkwardly.
Toronto led early, taking a 23-19 lead after the first quarter and 49-40 at the half. The Raptors heated up in the second quarter, shooting 68.8 percent from the floor and leading by as many as 11 points.
The Heat, which shot just 46.2 percent from the floor in the first half, had one rather unexpected highlight in the second quarter. That’s when backup center Josh McRoberts, playing for Whiteside, blocked a dunk attempt by Valanciunas, leading to a Luol Deng layup.
In the third quarter, Wade had a sensational play, following his own missed mid-range jumper by dunking the ball with his right hand, all in onemotion. That seemed to ignite Wade for his huge quarter as the Heat rallied to tie the score 68-68.
NOTES: Toronto switched its lineup, starting 6-foot-9 SF Patrick Patterson and benching 6-4 rookie SG Norman Powell. … Toronto F DeMarre Carroll escaped injury in the second quarter when he dived into the front-row seats in an attempt to get a loose ball. … Also in the second quarter, Heat G Dwyane Wade passed Dirk Nowitzki for 14th place in NBA career playoff points. … Heat PG Goran Dragic played despite having eight stitches in his lower lip after he was elbowed in Game 2. It was the third time this season Dragic’s mouth was bloodied. He lost a tooth in each of the two other incidents. … This series is just the fifth in NBA history in which the first two games went to overtime.MORE NEWS: Dolphin Legend & Humanitarian Nat Moore Honored With Mural In Overtown
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