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The Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry battles for the ball with the Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic, right, and Justise Winslow on Feb. 13, 2018.Mark Blinch

The Toronto Raptors picked up their sixth straight victory Tuesday night, squeaking past the Miami Heat 115-112 and bolstering their NBA-leading home record to 24-4 as they remain atop the Eastern Conference standings.

DeMar DeRozan lead the Raptors with 27 points, Kyle Lowry added 22 with eight assists, and Serge Ibaka had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Yet the Raps were sorely disappointed in the way they allowed the Heat to sneak back into the game, and it prompted one of Dwane Casey's strongest reactions of the season.

"I'm upset, even though we won because I know what's coming around the corner," said the Raptors head coach. "Like you're going down a dark alley, here comes a group of guys with a baseball bat and you say, 'Oh, hey, where's the baseball game?' It's 12:00 at night, you know what's coming around the corner. We've got to have attention to detail, closing out games and not getting hit over the head with a bat at 12:00 at night."

DeRozan seconded his coach's thoughts.

"It was terrible. It was a terrible win," said DeRozan. "We can't close out games like that."

It was a night meant to highlight stability within the franchise. Casey got his 301st win as Raptors coach, with his team on a five-game win streak and sitting in first place in the East. Lowry and DeRozan, headed for another NBA all-star game, were awarded their jerseys for this weekend's showcase. And it was a night full of mascot madness to celebrate the 1,000th career game for the popular fuzzy red dinosaur, the Raptor.

The Heat came to Toronto clinging to the eighth playoff spot in the East. The Raptors had lost only four games at ACC this season, but one had been to the Heat, 90-89 just last month – a game Lowry sat out with a back injury.

The Raps had passed the Boston Celtics in win percentage a few days earlier, so they were playing this game as the conference top dog.

"We've been the hunter for so long, it's new to us. It's a different temperament, a different approach for us," said Casey beforehand. "You can't get complacent and listen to the noise, the static, everything good and bad out there."

It may have been easy to get complacent. In each of Toronto's previous four games, the Raps were beating their opponents so soundly that none of their starters were needed in the fourth quarter. It was also the first time in franchise history that the Raptors had won five consecutive games by a margin of 15 or more points.

The Raps jumped out to a 28-24 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Dwyane Wade was back in a Heat uniform after they dealt for him at last week's trade deadline. He'd left Miami in free agency in 2016, fresh off the Raptors eliminating them in the Eastern Conference semi-final. After stints with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, the 36-year-old veteran of 14 NBA seasons is back where he won three championships. He came off Miami's bench Tuesday to appreciative applause by the ACC crowd.

Toronto's bench, the toast of the NBA in recent weeks for outscoring opposing reserve units, struggled in their first appearance of the night and couldn't extend the lead on this occasion. The Heat launched a 13-3 run in the second quarter and took a slim lead, largely thanks to scoring from Wade and former Raptor James Johnson.

The Raps were able to reclaim the lead just before the half, thanks to a last-ditch, off-balance three-point attempt from Lowry that went in against all odds. Toronto took a 57-55 lead into the locker room.

The Raptors came out and broke the game open in the third quarter. Despite a 16-point third-quarter performance from Miami point guard Goran Dragic, the Raps out-scored the Heat 41-26 behind an explosive 19-point quarter from DeRozan and a seven-point, six-rebound outburst from Ibaka.

But the Raps let that huge lead dissolve in the fourth, causing some white-knuckled moments down the stretch. Miami chipped to within a basket in the final six seconds, but Josh Richardson's buzzer-beating three-point attempt fell short.

Toronto's bench was outscored by Miami's reserves 52-40 – the first time in a while that crew was out-done.

Dragic's 28 was complemented by 16 from Johnson, 15 from Wayne Ellington and 10 from Wade.

The Raptors face the Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday, their last game before the all-star break. The team resumes play on Feb. 23, at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.

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