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Heat Ratcheting Up The Defense

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat have spent most of the regular season on cruise control, taking a long view of being ready for the playoffs. The Heat has struggled in areas, but the team's defense seems to be rediscovering it's 2012 self in recent days.

Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, the Heat held the Raptors to just 37.3 percent shooting for the game and just 29.7 percent shooting from the field in the second half. Miami also limited the Raptors to just 22.2 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.

Conversely, the Heat shot 53.3 percent from the field, but just 25 percent from 3-point land. LeBron James was 10-16 for the game for 30 points while Chris Bosh chipped in with 28 points on 12-19 shooting and Dwyane Wade had 23 points on 10-18 shooting against the Raptors.

Outside of the Big Three, no other Heat player came close to scoring double-digits with Shane Battier leading the way with five points.

In the Heat's previous victory against the Brooklyn Nets, Miami held the Nets to just 44.9 percent shooting from the field, including just 29.4 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.

Again, Miami shot 51.8 percent from the field and a crazy 57.9 percent from behind the three-point line. The Heat actually shot better from the three-point area than they did from the free throw line, where the team shot just 57.1 percent.

In both games, the Heat held Toronto's best player, Rudy Gay, and one of Brooklyn's best players, Joe Johnson to a combined 15-41 shooting, or just 37 percent from the field.

The Heat has always played their best when great defense leads to quick transitions to offense. The recent victories have proven that and now that the calendar has turned to February, the Heat may be starting to turn up their defensive pressure once again.


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