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Wade helps Heat rout Raptors

Dec 12, 2006 - 3:03 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- The shorthanded Toronto Raptors had no answer for Dwyane Wade.

Wade tied his season high with 37 points to lead five players in double figures for the Miami Heat en route to a 99-77 triumph over the Raptors, who dropped their fourth straight game.

Alonzo Mourning and James Posey scored 12 points apiece and Jason Williams added 11 for the Heat, who returned home after a 2-2 West Coast swing that concluded with a 123-107 defeat at Denver on Friday.

"Coming off a game at Denver where we didn't play that well," Wade said. "To be able to come back off that game, especially with guys out, not at full strength, to play the way we did is a tribute (to our players)."

Wade connected on 13-of-21 shots and made 11-of-13 free throws to eclipse the 30-point plateau for the 10th time this season. He also handed out five assists.

"I was attacking the basket," Wade added. "It's been tough getting to the basket this year, so when I saw the opportunity to get there, I tried to make the most of it."

Wade has already had two 37-point performances earlier this campaign.

In the second quarter, Miami created a comfortable cushion when it bridged an impressive 24-7 surge to hold a 44-29 bulge with just over six minutes remaining.

Wade scored 13 of his 15 second-quarter points during a four-minute stretch to help the Heat grab their largest lead at halftime this season, 58-38.

Miami outscored Toronto, 34-15, in the second period.

"I don't take him (Wade) for granted at all. He is very unique at getting to the basket and how he finishes," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "When defenses have him cornered, he finds a gap and gets through there. He had his quickness and he made some great shots. We are blessed to have him and right now we need it."

The Raptors used a 20-7 run after the break to cut the deficit to 65-58 with 5:56 left. But the Heat closed the period on a 10-2 burst to regain control for good, including eight points from Wade.

"When Dwyane wants to get a shot, he breaks a guy down and goes 1-on-1," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "Having a player like that makes it easier on the whole team."

Anthony Parker scored 18 points and T.J. Ford contributed 10 and 12 assists for the Raptors, who shot 43 percent (35-of-81) from the field.

"We are going to have to play with some toughness," Toronto swingman Morris Peterson said. "We are going to have to compete. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We can't hang our heads. Nobody is going to get us out of this except for us."

Toronto's Chris Bosh missed his second straight game with a bruised knee. The 6-10 All-Star forward leads the team in scoring (20.5) and rebounds (12.2) this season.

"It's tough. Chris put a lot of pressure on the opposing team's defense," Ford said. "We have to come out from the beginning and make it a point to attack the rim. We have to play better and smarter basketball."

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