While the Raptors all-stars did their thing, so did the blue-collar boys.
As Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan piled up 63 points, Toronto's supporting cast of Bismack Biyombo and Patrick Patterson did the dirty work under the basket at both ends of the floor.
It was a take-no-prisoners, physical approach that saw the Raptors, who had a significant size advantage over Miami, outrebound the Heat 50-30 in a 116-89 runaway win in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Sunday. More than a few Miami players hit the floor, with the six-foot-nine Biyombo and Patterson glaring down at them.
Forward DeMarre Carroll, who contributed 14 points and some stellar defence pointed to the third quarter as the difference, with Biyombo and Patterson making their mark.
"We came out and we told them (Miami) that we weren't going to take it any more," Carroll said. "We kept running it down their throat and doing it on the defensive end. And we got the win."
"Once we had them down, we basically wanted to keep them there," added Toronto's Terrence Ross.
Carroll said while DeRozan and Lowry kept the scoreboard ticking, there were other big contributions.
"They're going to get their glory," he said of the all-stars. "But guys like Bis and Patrick, guys like that really came in and helped us ... the role players really stepped up tonight."
Biyombo, with 17 points and 16 rebounds, was a man-mountain Sunday. He and Patterson, who had 11 points, combined for 27 rebounds including 13 at the offensive end. The entire Miami team managed just seven offensive rebounds.
Thanks to the rebounds, Toronto had a 27-9 edge in second-chance points.
"So many people get caught up in scoring, scoring, scoring," said Carroll. "You don't see the little things that Bis was doing, that Pat was doing.
"I'm a team captain, I'm a leader on this team and I feel like they deserve just as much glory as Kyle and DeMar do."
The little things include getting under opponents' skin.
In the fourth quarter, Biyombo almost flattened Josh McRoberts. There was no call — although Miami coach Erik Spoelstra went ballistic on the sidelines — and the Heat forward responded seconds later by trying to clothesline Biyombo under the Miami basket. McRoberts was called for a flagrant foul.
With Jonas Valanciunas out with an ankle injury, Biyombo has been the Raptor big man to pump up the Air Canada Centre crowd.
"He's our energy guy," said Ross. "He brings so much to the game. He protects the baskets, finishes at the rim. He's exciting to watch. He definitely got the crowd into it."
Even the Heat were impressed.
"Biyombo played great," said Miami forward Luol Deng. "They had a lot of energy as a team."
Biyombo, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said the players knew what they had to do after the mistakes made in Game 6 in Miami.
"Especially after watching film the next day after the game," he said. "Some people not even looking at the film, including myself."
Toronto coach Dwane Casey praised both Biyombo and Patterson, saying they did in Game 7 what they didn't in Game 6, when point guard Goran Dragic and the Heat slashed into the paint at will.
"They got out on the perimeter, kept guys in front of them and then when the shot went up, they planted their feet and took a stand in the paint and played like big men in the paint."
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