March 6, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) dribbles during the second half against he Memphis Grizzlies at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Heat Handcuff Raptors 96-72

On a night that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh got to rest, LeBron James added to his MVP hopes in 3 quarters: 28 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assist, and 2 steals. He sat out the 4th quarter.

To be fair, the Raptors have been without Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani. Defensively, Miami locked Toronto down by limiting them to 23 points in the 2nd half. James Johnson played efficiently, but the team shot 1-16 from behind the arc.

“First half, we brought the fight to them, let them know they were in a basketball game,” Johnson said. “In the second half, different story. They came out and brought the fight to us and they brought it good.”

Toronto coach Dwane Casey:

“They play the right way. They have the star power to do it. My hat’s off to Miami. They’re a great team. I’m going to enjoy watching them. I hope my guys were watching and learning and that they learned from tonight and how fast and how physical the game is for 48 minutes. Not 24 minutes — 48 minutes.”

Mike Miller hit a few threes, contributing 13 points and 6 assists off the bench. Miami made a conscious effort on the glass, resulting in six players grabbing at least 4 rebounds. The team shot 52% overall, and 41% from downtown on 7-17 shooting.

LeBron James was 12-15 on the court, and said he would love to rest a game or two, perhaps next week if they are locked into the 2nd seed.

“It’s just how I am,” said James, who is 5th inn minutes played, “When I go on the floor, if I’m in uniform, I’m trying to play at the highest level. If I’m in uniform, I don’t try to take minutes off or take games off when I can. … I just want to be the best.”

When asked about the MVP award he replied, “It would mean a lot. Honestly, it would mean a lot.”

Tags: April 2012 Miami Heat National Basketball Association NBA Season Toronto Raports

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