LeBron-less Heat still going strong
MIAMI — So much for Miami needing time to find its way with a rebuilt roster.
The Heat are the last unbeaten team in the Eastern Conference.
Chris Bosh scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 19 points and Miami beat Toronto 107-102 on Sunday night, the 16th straight win for the Heat over the Raptors.
“The guys, they see how our team will have to play to be successful,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Wade also finished with 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Heat (3-0). Luol Deng scored 18 points, Shawne Williams added 16 and Mario Chalmers finished with 12 for Miami.
DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points for Toronto (2-1), which hasn’t beaten Miami since Jan. 27, 2010.
“They executed well, especially down the stretch,” DeRozan said. “We’ve got to understand when we play against a good team they’re going to play well down the stretch.”
It’s hard to see why DeRozan lauded Miami’s late execution. The Heat shot 4-for-17 in the fourth quarter and missed eight free throws in the final 12 minutes.
And they won.
“This is all going to help us later,” Wade said.
Kyle Lowry added 22, including a layup that got the Raptors within four with 21 seconds left. Jonas Valanciunas scored 14 and Greivis Vasquez finished with 12 for Toronto, which was outrebounded 43-28.
“I guess it’s just effort,” Bosh said. “We know a lot of people aren’t expecting us to do much on the boards.”
Miami led by as many as 16 late in the third quarter before the Raptors came roaring back, starting with a 6-0 run to close the third and get within 10. Toronto got within six twice midway through the fourth, before Shawne Williams made a pair of big plays for Miami.
He tipped in a missed 3-point try by Mario Chalmers for an eight-point lead and after DeRozan’s 3-pointer with 5:23 left got Toronto within five, he answered with a 3 of his own from the left corner to restore Miami’s cushion.
“At the defensive end, it’s from start to finish,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “You don’t just guard for 23 seconds. You guard for 24 and then come up with the rebound. We’re not doing that right now.”
KNICKS 96, HORNETS 93: At New York, on a night when he joined the NBA’s 20,000-point club, Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:23 remaining, and the New York Knicks edged the Charlotte Hornets.
Al Jefferson had 21 points and Gary Neal added 17 points off the bench for the Hornets (1-2), who lost their second straight.
Charlotte’s guard Michael Kidd-Gilchrist fell awkwardly late in the first quarter and did not return to the game. According to the team’s spokesman, Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to a New York City area hospital to undergo a CT scan.
Anthony, a seven-time All-Star who started off the night with 19,997 points, notched his 19,999th point after hitting a basket in the opening seconds of the game. Anthony later added a 3-pointer to become the 40th player in league history to score over 20,000 points in their careers.
KINGS 98, CLIPPERS 92: At Los Angeles, DeMarcus Cousins had 34 points and 17 rebounds, Rudy Gay added 25 points, and the Sacramento Kings handed the poor shooting Los Angeles Clippers their first loss.
The Kings (2-1) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the third quarter and outscored the Clippers 28-18 in the fourth. They took the lead for good on a layup by Gay with just under six minutes to play.
Blake Griffin and Spencer Hawes both scored 17 points to lead five Clippers in double figures. Chris Paul had 16 points and 11 assists, J.J. Redick had 12 points, and Jordan Farmar 10.
The Clippers (2-1) struggled offensively for the third straight game, shooting 33 of 88. They were 9 of 31 from 3-point range, with Matt Barnes, Paul and Redick combining to miss a slew in the fourth.