Raptors reach conference finals
TORONTO >> Kyle Lowry scored 35 points, DeMar DeRozan had 28 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Miami Heat 116-89 on Sunday in Game 7 to reach the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.
Bismack Biyombo added 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Raptors. They'll open the Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Toronto fans chanted 'We Want Cleveland!' in the seconds.
DeMarre Carroll scored 14 points, and Patrick Patterson had 11 to help the Raptors become the 15th team in NBA history to win two Game 7s in one postseason. Toronto beat Indiana in the first round.
Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic each scored 16 points for the Heat. They were denied the opportunity to renew acquaintances with former teammate James in the conference finals.
Miami hadn't lost a Game 7 since the first round at Atlanta in 2009. They won their past four Game 7s, all at home. Miami was seeking to join the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics as the only teams to win five straight Game 7s.
Joe Johnson and Justise Winslow scored 13, and Luol Deng had 12 for the Heat. Miami, which rallied to beat Charlotte in the first round, fell short in its bid to become the first team to erase 3-2 deficits in consecutive series.
The Raptors improved to 3-6 when they had a chance to eliminate their opponent, and won for the first time in 14 tries in a playoff game that started before 4 p.m.
Toronto lost Game 7 of the conference semifinals to Philadelphia in 2001 when Vince Carter's buzzer beater rimmed out. Charlotte, the Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans are the only three NBA teams to never reach a conference final.
Leading 86-78 to begin the fourth, Toronto stretched its lead to 16 on a dunk by Biyombo and back-to-back 3-pointers by Carroll and Terrence Ross, making it 96-80 at 9:41.
Patterson made a layup and, following Lowry's steal on Dragic, added a pair of free throws that gave the Raptors a102-82 lead at 7:30, all but sealing Miami's fate.
The Raptors didn't let up, and a 3 by Lowry at 3:23 made it 111-86.
Heat: Miami's only lead of the game came at 37-36 on a hook shot by Johnson at 5:41 of the second. ... Josh McRoberts got a flagrant foul for whacking Biyombo at 7:55 of the fourth.
Raptors: Toronto hasn't lost back-to-back games since March 23-25. ... The Raptors broke the 100-point barrier for the first time in nine games, snapping a season-worst streak. ... Toronto out rebounded Miami 50-30.
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