Miami Heats' Chris Bosh moves around Toronto Raptors' Ed Davis (R) during their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida, Feb 5, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
LeBron James put his fourth-quarter uncertainties behind him with critical late plays that helped the Miami Heat survive a late scare from Toronto in a nervous 95-89 home win over the Raptors on Sunday.
James, who has endured struggles in the deciding moments of games dating back to the NBA Finals, scored a game-high 30 points including four straight in the final two minutes when his team needed him most.
Toronto launched a 12-0 run in the fourth to trim a 15-point deficit to just 85-82 with three and a half minutes remaining, but James responded with two free throws and a dunk to put the Heat in a comfortable position.
Miami Heat's Dwayne Wade shoots against the Toronto Raptors during their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida, Feb 5, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
Dwyane Wade added 25 points in the win, Miami's (18-6) seventh in eight games.
"We came into this game knowing we wouldn't be able to take any shortcuts and it would be a work game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. "We would have to work the game for 48 minutes. We knew we would face a lot of zone (defence).
"We will take this win and move on."
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 25 points while Jerryd Bayless and Linas Kleiza each added 17 for the visitors.
Toronto (8-17) appeared buried for good when they fell behind by 16 in the third but they made it interesting before slipping to their third loss in four games.
Bayless and Kleiza each hit three-pointers during the team's fourth quarter run and the Raptors tried to stymie the Heat with a zone defense.
Chris Bosh, who spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Raptors, had a quiet night with 12 points on 3-of-13 shooting.
The Miami Heats' LeBron James (L) moves against Toronto Raptors' Ed Davis during their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida, Feb 5, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]