(AP) Heat pull away from Raptors, win 22nd straight
By IAN HARRISON
The Miami Heat equaled the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, pulling away in the fourth quarter Sunday to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-91 for their 22nd consecutive victory.
LeBron James had 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Dwyane Wade added 24 points and nine assists, and Ray Allen scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the defending NBA champions.
Chris Bosh finished with 18 points as the Heat tied the 2007-08 Houston Rockets for the second-longest winning streak in NBA history. The longest is 33 games, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
Miami will try to move into sole possession of second on Monday when it visits the Boston Celtics _ who ended the Rockets’ run five years ago.
The Heat’s 10th straight road win came in the same city where their streak started with a 100-85 victory over the Raptors on Feb. 3 _ Super Bowl Sunday.
They’ve kept rolling right into March Madness.
Miami blew it open behind Allen’s 3-point shooting after Toronto tied it at 77 early in the fourth quarter.
Toronto is the third team with multiple losses to the Heat during the streak. Miami has beaten Philadelphia three times and Atlanta twice.
Rudy Gay scored 27 and Amir Johnson had 18 points and 18 rebounds as the Raptors lost their 11th straight against Miami, extending their longest active losing streak against a single opponent.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 points, and Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan each had 12 for the Raptors, whose last victory over the Heat was a 111-103 home win on Jan. 27, 2010 _ when Bosh still played for Toronto and James was in Cleveland.
Toronto tied it at 77 on a pair of free throws by Gay less than a minute into the fourth but, even with James on the bench, Miami answered immediately. Allen hit a jumper, Norris Cole threw a half-court lob pass to Wade for an alley-oop dunk and Allen made a 3-pointer, giving Miami an 84-77 lead.
After a Raptors timeout, Chris Andersen converted a three-point play and Wade made two free throws, capping a 12-0 run that put the Heat up 89-77 with 7:42 left.
James scored eight points and Bosh had seven in the first and Miami closed the quarter with an 8-2 run to lead 27-19 after one.
A layup from Bosh gave Miami a 49-33 lead with 2:37 left in the half. Toronto closed the gap with a 6-0 run, but a 3 by James with less than 3 seconds left put the Heat up 55-43 at the break.
Miami called timeout at 6:49 of the third after a layup by DeRozan cut it to 66-59, but Bosh answered with a 3 from the corner, restoring Miami’s double-digit advantage.
Toronto fought back again in the final minutes of the third. After a dunk by Gay, DeRozan converted a three-point play with 1:52 left, making it 76-69. DeRozan, who missed 10 of his first 12 shots, made two jumpers in the final 1:14 as the Raptors cut it to 76-73 heading into the fourth.
NOTES: The Raptors outrebounded the Heat 51-26. … Toronto has lost five straight home meetings with Miami. … Former Raptor Morris Peterson attended the game.