Wayne Ellington scored a career-high 32 points and set Miami’s single-season record for 3-pointers, helping the Heat wrap up the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs by beating the Toronto Raptors 116-109 in overtime Wednesday night.
Ellington finished with eight 3-pointers, giving him 227 for the season. He topped the mark set by Damon Jones, who made 225 in 2004-05.
Kelly Olynyk, Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson each scored 11 points for the Heat, who open the playoffs at No. 3 Philadelphia this weekend.
Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo each scored 10 for Miami, which rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half.
Kyle Lowry scored 28 points for Toronto, which already had the top seed in the East wrapped up. The Raptors will meet No. 8 Washington in the first round.
DeMar DeRozan had 19 points, Jakob Poeltl had 16 and Jonas Valanciunas scored 12 for the Raptors, who were outscored 11-4 in overtime.
Ellington’s 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds left in regulation put Miami up two, and Poeltl tied it with a tip-in. But Miami scored the first five points of the extra session and didn’t look back.
Raptors reserve Fred VanVleet left with 1:32 remaining in regulation after apparently getting hurt while trying to fight through a screen. He stayed down for several seconds near the Toronto bench before getting helped off the floor.
Even with nothing standings-wise to play for, the Raptors had no qualms about using their starters. Lowry, DeRozan, Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka combined to play more than 120 minutes.
The Raptors were 22-60 in 2010-11, the season before Dwane Casey came to Toronto. They ended this season 59-23.
“It’s taken us a while to build our program, to get it where it is,” said Casey, a coach of the year candidate this season. “This (Heat) program has multiple championships and we’re trying to get to that level organically. And it takes time. You’re just not going to wave a magic wand and turn a player into Magic Johnson or Larry Bird or anybody like that. It’s part of the process, and that’s something I know our organization is proud of.”
There was a bit of back-and-forth at times, with six ties and 16 lead changes through the first three quarters.
Yet after each of those periods, the Raptors had the lead: 29-27 after one, 53-47 at the half and 78-71 after three. But Miami won the fourth 34-27, led by Ellington connecting six times from 3-point range in the period.
Raptors: Toronto went 25-16 on the road, and 40-12 against East opponents. ... DeRozan took a scary-looking tumble over some photographers as he scored to end the first half but bounced up quickly.
Heat: All-Star point guard Goran Dragic missed the game with soreness in his right knee. The Heat are not concerned about his availability for Game 1 of the playoffs. ... Miami finished 26-15 at home.
Tony Fiorentino, one of the Heat original employees who started as an assistant coach in the team’s inaugural season 30 years ago before transitioning to broadcasting, was honoured in a halftime ceremony. Fiorentino has spent the last 15 season as the Heat television analyst, and will assume a team-ambassador position when Miami’s playoff run ends.
To say Poeltl is going into the post-season on a hot streak is an understatement. Poeltl ended the regular season having made 34 of his last 39 shots in the final eight games. Poeltl is also the only Raptors player who appeared in all 82 regular-season contests.
Raptors: Face Washington in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Heat: Face Philadelphia in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.