Miami held their nerve to prevail and claim a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series after Toronto had raised home fans hopes of a pulsating victory at the Air Canada Centre.
Kyle Lowry sunk a stunning buzzer-beating three-pointer from 39 feet with the final play of regulation time to put Toronto level at 90-90 and force overtime.
But Miami roared back to break the Raptors resistance, swiftly rattling off eight unanswered points to silence the crowd and take a 98-90 lead.
Toronto were given a glimmer of hope trailing at 99-96 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.
Wade finished with 24 points, six rebounds and four assists while Joe Johnson added 16 points and seven rebounds.
For Toronto Jonas Valanciunas scored a team-high 24 points and 14 rebounds while DeRozan added 22 points, six rebounds and four assists. Terrence Ross scored 19 points off the bench.
Game two takes place on Thursday.
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