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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Heat’s best player came up big when it counted most.
Dwyane Wade saved the Miami Heat in regulation, then finished off overtime with an emphatic dunk.
Now this Eastern Conference semifinal series is even again.
Wade scored 30 points, Goran Dragic had a huge three-point play with 22.4 seconds left in overtime and the Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 94-87 in Game 4 on Monday night.
Dragic and Joe Johnson each scored 15 for the Heat, who rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Game 5 is in Toronto on Wednesday night.
Terrence Ross and Cory Joseph each scored 14 for Toronto, which shot 39 percent. Bismack Biyombo and DeMarre Carroll added 13 apiece, while starting guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 19 points on 6-for-28 shooting.
Miami was down 77-68 midway through the fourth, and still trailed 79-72 when Lowry got the roll on a 15-footer with 5 minutes left.
That’s when Wade went to work.
He scored the next five for Miami, getting the Heat within 79-77. The deficit was still two when Lowry fouled out — on an offensive foul — with 1:58 left. The Heat finally got the equalizer with 12.6 seconds left, Wade getting to the rim for a layup that knotted the game at 83-all.
Joseph missed a jumper to end regulation and the Raptors scored a mere four points in the extra session.
It was not an offensive showcase, by any measure. The first shot of the night was an airball by DeRozan. It might have been a harbinger of what awaited both offenses.
The best example? Wade tried a scoop shot from the right side of the lane in overtime. The ball bounced on the rim a few times, and stayed there.
Really, it did. The ball came to rest on the back of the rim, resulting in a jump ball that Toronto won with 58 seconds remaining. DeRozan scored on that possession to get Toronto within two, but the Raptors wouldn’t score again.
Biyombo started in place of injured center Jonas Valanciunas and made an impact, dunking on Amare Stoudemire — Miami’s starter in place of injured center Hassan Whiteside — while getting fouled 3:05 into the game, flexing his muscles for good measure. But the Heat eventually settled in, leading 25-21 after the first quarter and taking a 44-35 lead into the half as Toronto missed its last nine shots of the second quarter.
The Raptors then made eight of their first 11 shots to open the second half. Carroll was 5 for 5 in the quarter after a 1-for-5 start, and Toronto led by six late in the third before taking a 62-60 edge into the fourth.
Lowry played only 1:54 in the third because of foul trouble and it didn’t matter, Toronto still outscoring Miami 27-16 in the quarter.
Raptors: Instead of dealing with the prospects of a 5 a.m.-ish arrival in Toronto, the Raptors were spending Monday night in Miami. They’ll fly Tuesday and plan to practice in Toronto. … The teams started 0 for 10 from 3-point range, before Toronto made a pair of 3s on consecutive second-quarter possessions. … Lucas Nogueira made his playoff debut, checking in with 4:04 left in the opening quarter. He’s the fourth Raptor to make his playoff debut in 2016.
Heat: The Heat have led in the fourth quarter of all four games in the series. … Miami had 11 assists in the game’s first 15:24. The Heat then had no assists for the next 18:26. … Stoudemire was called for a technical 49 seconds into the third, taking offense that Lowry — after a clean, hard foul — tried to wrap him in what seemed like a conciliatory gesture.
Wade’s season of climbing the scoring charts continued. With his ninth point, he passed Magic Johnson (3,701) for 13th on the NBA’s playoff scoring list. He’s also passed Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Scottie Pippen and Dirk Nowitzki in these playoffs alone, and now with 3,723 he’s within 32 of tying No. 12 Hakeem Olajuwon (3,755). Wade is the NBA’s 39th all-time regular-season scorer, up from No. 54 when this season began.
Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri and Miami president Pat Riley both received votes in the NBA’s executive of the year balloting, which was revealed Monday. Ujiri finished fourth, while Riley tied for eighth. San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford won the award, followed by Portland’s Neil Olshey and Golden State’s Bob Myers.
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