NBA: Despite Lowry's heroics, Heat break Raptors' resistance to take Game 1

Kyle Lowry (right) of the Toronto Raptors in action against George Hill of the Indiana Pacers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 1.
Kyle Lowry (right) of the Toronto Raptors in action against George Hill of the Indiana Pacers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 1. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Miami Heat defeated the Toronto Raptors 102-96 in overtime on Tuesday to claim a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series.

A stunning buzzer-beating three-pointer from near halfway by Toronto star Kyle Lowry had given the Raptors a lifeline at 90-90 to force overtime.

But in overtime, Miami raised their game to break the Raptors' resistance, quickly rattling off eight unanswered points to silence the crowd and take a 98-90 lead.

Toronto were given a glimmer of hope trailing at 96-99 but DeMar DeRozan was unable to get a shot off and Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade snaffled to score a two-pointer and put the game out of reach.

Game 2 takes place on Thursday.