TORONTO – The Miami Heat banded together to get Chris Bosh a win against his former team.
Dwyane Wade scored 28 points, LeBron James had 23 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and the Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 103-95 Wednesday night.
Bosh finished with 25 points and the Heat went into the All-Star break having won 10 of 11.
"I know firsthand how important it is to finish strong going into the break," James said. "You feel good about All-Star weekend, you walk around feeling good."
Before arriving in Toronto, the Heat had talked about winning this one for Bosh. That sentiment was reinforced by a handwritten note on the pregame scouting board that read "Band of Brothers."
"We wanted to be there for him as a brother and a teammate," James said.
Andrea Bargnani scored 17 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter and DeMar DeRozan finished with 24 but no other Raptor had more than eight points. Toronto never led after the first six minutes and lost their 17th game in 19.
"We tried different guys in there, even tried going big to see if we could get one more scorer in there, or at least get rebounds if we weren't going to get that scorer," Raptors coach Jay Triano said.
Miami took an 88-79 lead on Wade's 3-point play with 6:37 left. Bargnani made a free throw on a 3-second call, then he and DeRozan hit back-to-back jumpers as the Raptors cut it to 88-84 with 5:48 remaining.
James made 5 of 6 from the line over the next two minutes, giving the Heat a 93-87 lead with 3:53 to go.
After Bosh made 1 of 2 from the line, missing for the first time after hitting his first nine, Bargnani answered with a 3, making it 94-90 with 2:43 remaining.
James made another free throw and, after DeRozan missed a reverse layup, Erick Dampier tipped in Wade's miss, giving Miami a 97-90 lead with 1:50 left.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said his team "did just enough."
"We're all happy for Chris," Spoelstra said. "It was not our best game but guys definitely wanted to band together and win it for him."
Even though the Heat are on a roll, Spoelstra is happy to give his team some downtime.
"We all could probably use this All-Star break right now, get a little bit of rest and get away and then make this final push in the final third of the season to really take another step forward as a team and try to find our ceiling," he said.
Returning to Toronto for the first time since joining James and Wade in Miami after seven seasons with the Raptors, Bosh was booed from the moment he took the floor for pre-game warmups, even when he was shown on the video screen during the American national anthem. Fans also booed when the camera panned to James.
"That's sports today," Spoelstra said. "I don't think anything is off limits anymore."
The boos, however, were tamer than the hostile reception James received when the Heat visited Cleveland on Dec. 2, or the jeers directed at Vince Carter when he returned to Toronto after being traded to New Jersey.
Wade agreed that Toronto's fans had failed to generate the same unfriendly atmosphere the Heat faced in Cleveland.
"It's not even close," Wade said. "You can't compare."
After the game, Bosh blew kisses to the crowd as he walked off the floor to a mixture of cheers and boos. Asked whether the kisses were sincere or sarcastic, Bosh said they had been both.
"It's a sarcastic one to all the naysayers and it's real to all the good supporters," he said. "People are going to take it the way they want to. The most important thing is the win tonight. We wanted to keep our momentum going."
Bargnani and DeRozan each scored 10 points in the first quarter, but the Heat got seven from James and six each from Bosh and Wade to lead 29-27 after one.
Bosh scored eight points in the second but James missed a 3 with less than a second left. Miami led 50-46 at the half.
Wade had 11 in the third and Miami opened the quarter with an 8-2, including four points from Bosh, to open a 10-point lead, its biggest of the game at that point. But after he was fouled by Mario Chalmers, Leandro Barbosa made three free throws with 33 seconds left, cutting the deficit to 80-72 heading into the fourth.
Notes: Ed Davis had 13 rebounds and Amir Johnson had 11 for the Raptors. ... Toronto is 0-3 against Miami this season. The Raptors host the Heat again on April 13, the final game of the regular season for both teams. ... Bosh spoke to a crowd of more than 40 reporters about an hour before the game. ... Heat forward Mike Miller, who scored a season-high 32 points in Miami's 120-103 home win over Toronto on Jan. 22, sat out with a right-eye injury. Miller has taken hard hits in each of the past two games, including an elbow to the head Tuesday at Indiana. He left the team and returned to Miami, where he'll be evaluated after the All-Star break. ... Singer Jon Bon Jovi watched from a private box.