The Miami Heat lead the visiting Toronto Raptors 53-48 at halftime. Dwyane Wade tops all scorers with 17 points. LeBron James has 14 points and Chris Bosh has 8. The talented youngster DeMar DeRozan leads the Raptors with 16 points. The following are notes and observations during the first half of play:
12:00 remaining, first quarter: New pre-game dance routine from Dwyane Wade and LeBron James… bouncing to music during the tip-off.
10:37: Wade and LeBron combine to score the first 6 points for the Heat. Heat 6, Raptors 2
7:18: Raptors moving the ball very well in the opening period and it’s leading to open looks for the likes of James Johnson and Aaron Gray. Heat’s defense is rather sluggish. Heat 14, Raptors 15
5:07: LeBron and Wade alternating post-ups every possession and it’s working. Heat 22, Raptors 17
3:00: Mario Chalmers with a wide open three. Seeing him set up and take his time before shooting brings whatever the opposite of butterflies are to my stomach. Heat 29, Raptors 19
10:57 remaining, second quarter. Raptors go on a 13-2 run as the Heat offense stagnates and Calderon pushing the ball down-court like it’s the Running of the Bulls festival back at home. Heat 31, Raptors 31
7:23: Thank goodness for transition offense. So many missed shots I feel like I’m watching a Jai-alai game. Heat 39, Raptors 35
4:41: It warms my heart to see LeBron arguing for Wade when a call goes against him. I can only begin to sympathize with Gabrielle Union when she tells Dwyane it’s his turn to take out the trash and LeBron gets up from the couch with his arms spread out in disbelief. Heat 42, Raptors 40.
3:05: DeMar DeRozan "SHUTTING IT DOWN" over Shane Battier’s decaying hairline. He has 14 points in the half on 6 for 9 shooting. Heat 46, Raptors 43
:38: Chris Bosh with the steal and over to Wade on the fast-break. Wade’s got to give that back to CB1 for the dunk come on now! Heat 52, Raptors 48
What to look for in the second half: Once again another poor first-half showing from the Heat bench. They are a combined 2-11 with only 6 points. They’ve also committed three turnovers and six fouls. While LeBron and Wade have done an excellent job keeping the Heat afloat, look for the bench to provide a spark via Mike Miller or Norris Cole in the 2nd half.