After surprising back-to-back losses, the Miami Heat rebounded with a strong showing against a winless club.
They appear to have a good shot at replicating that performance in a matchup with the Toronto Raptors as Dwyane Wade and the visiting Heat look to continue their dominance in the series Tuesday night.
Miami (2-2) opened the season with an impressive win over Chicago, but followed it up with defeats at Philadelphia and Brooklyn. The club, which hasn't lost three straight regular-season games since Jan. 10-13, 2012, halted the brief skid with a 103-93 victory over Washington on Sunday.
LeBron James had 25 points, Chris Bosh scored 24 and Dwyane Wade added 20 for the Heat, who employed the tried and true formula of making the extra pass to find the open man. Miami, which led by as many as 23 points, finished with 32 assists on 37 field goals.
''The intensity was better and the consistent ball movement was better than it's been,'' Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Mario Chalmers had a team-high eight assists for the Heat, who improved to 54-3 when collecting at least 25 assists since James and Bosh joined the team.
''That's what we do,'' James said. ''We understand that it's easy for everyone when we move the ball, share the ball and we play like that.''
It also helped that Wade was able to find his stroke, going 8 of 15 from the floor after shooting 10 of 25 in his first two contests. Miami has won 27 of its last 28 regular-season games in which Wade has shot at least 50 percent.
''We know what works for us,'' he said. ''Sometimes, we just don't do it.''
Wade has made at least half of his shots in seven consecutive games against the Raptors, averaging 28.0 points and 62.2 per cent from the field.
The Heat have won 11 straight in the series since a 111-103 loss at Toronto on Jan. 27, 2010, when Bosh was on the Raptors. Miami has outscored Toronto by an average of 13.3 points in the 10 meetings with James and Bosh on the Heat.
Bosh averaged 19.3 points and 61.1 percent shooting in three games against his former team last season, while Wade shot 63.5 percent and averaged 27.3 points - his highest scoring average against an Eastern Conference team in 2012-13.
The Raptors (2-1) are coming off a 97-90 win over Milwaukee on Saturday. They had five players score in double figures and outrebounded the Bucks 60-38.
''Everybody made a concerted effort to try to get the ball from side-to-side and get everybody involved early,'' said Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who finished with 14 points.
Rudy Gay had 18 points and a career-best 15 rebounds - 13 on the defensive end - but turned in another poor game from the field. He was 4 of 14 after a 6-of-23 performance in a loss at Atlanta the previous night.
''I'm just trying not to be one-dimensional,'' Gay said. ''I still wanted to make an effort on defence and the glass ... just make myself be part of the game.''
Gay enjoyed plenty of offensive success against the Heat last season, averaging 25.7 points and 48.3 per cent shooting in three games.