Kyle Lowry carries Raptors to Game 3 win over Heat

The all-star version of Kyle Lowry has finally emerged.

With Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas sidelined with a sprained ankle, Lowry poured in 33 points on Saturday to carry Toronto to a 95-91 victory over the Miami Heat, taking a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven second-round playoff series.

Lowry, whose shooting has been horrible through most of the post-season, scored 29 of his points in the second half, and shot 11-for-19 on the night.

DeMar DeRozan added 19 points, while Valanciunas had 16 points and 12 rebounds before he left early in the third quarter.

Dwyane Wade had 38 points to top Miami.

Valanciunas left the game early in the third quarter when he rolled his right ankle coming down hard after attempting to block a Wade shot. The Lithuanian big man limped to the locker-room to the cheers of numerous Heat fans.

The Heat had lost their starting centre Hassan Whiteside early in the second quarter, when he got tangled up with Lowry and sprained a knee.

The Raptors, who split their two games in Toronto in the regular season, were the dominant team through a good chunk of the first three quarter, and led by as many as 13 points. But Wade lit it up with 18 points in the third quarter that brought American Airlines Arena to life, and sent the game into the fourth all even at 68-68.

The Heat raced out to an early six-point lead, but the Raptors clawed their way back and when Lowry drilled a three-pointer and followed it up with a layup, it gave the visitors a four-point lead with just under four minutes to play.

The Heat tied it up on free throws, but Lowry responded with a three, then a pair of free throws to put Toronto back up by five, prompting a chant of "Let's go Raptors!" from the fans who made the trip south.

Wade and Lowry traded baskets over the final 32 seconds, but DeRozan's five free throws over the dying seconds, plus a missed three by Joe Johnson, sealed the victory for Toronto.

The game was the third straight thriller in this series, the first needing overtime to decide. The Heat took Game 1 102-96, while the Raptors bounced back to win Game 2 96-92.

American Airlines Arena was blanketed in white Heat T-shirts, dotted with pockets of Toronto fans, who cheered every Raptors basket.

Game 4 is Monday in Miami, then the series goes back to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday.

Valanciunas made his first three shots to lift the Raptors to an early seven-point lead. Valanciunas and DeRozan had eight points apiece in the first quarter and the Raptors led 23-19 to start the second.

Joe Johnson scored back-to-back baskets to give Miami a brief one-point lead midway through the second quarter, but Valanciunas scored on an alley-oop to cap an 18-6 Raptors run that put them up by 11. A basket by Udonis Haslem just before the final buzzer cut the Raptors' lead to 49-40 at halftime.

Lowry poured in 15 points in the third to lift the Raptors to a 10-point lead, but they couldn't contain Wade, whose jump shot with 23 seconds left tied the game.

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