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Wade, Spoelstra, Winslow reflect after Heat's Game 7 loss; and Wade looks ahead

Reaction after the Heat's 116-89 Game 7 loss at Toronto:

• Erik Spoelstra: "Heck of a series to be involved with. It was a privilege to be part of a seven-game series like this. Players were playing injured on both sides. 

"I thought once we got it to six at the end of the third, I thought we had a chance. Our young guys gave us a burst of energy. Got within six when Tyler [Johnson] hit that three. But Toronto kept on coming. They wore us down.

"We're not making any excuses. Toronto beat us fair and square. Give them credit. Players on both teams were playing through injuries. It's unfortunate people thought this was maybe not the most elegant series. But it was one of the more competitive series. If you're a true basketball fan, you can find joy in a true grind like this....

"We don't view [Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson and Johnson] as young guys any more. They've been fearless all year long and they're a major part of why we have gone as far as we did.... Winslow finds a way to make you have to play them.

"Very proud of this group. You don't have a season like this all the time in this league. I can speak for the staff, coaching staff and management --- we are all grateful to be with this group of professionals in this locker-room. It was an enjoyable, gratifying season."

Do you think of what ifs with Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside?

"I feel very badly for CB because I know what this games means to him," Spoelstra said... "I really miss CB. But, no. That's why this team was able to get to this point. They never made excuses. The guys in that locker-room should be proud of this season."

• Dwyane Wade: Did you max out what you have as a team?

"Yeah we did. Today, the better team won. We use no excuses. We thought it was a fair series, but today they were the better team for the majority of the game."

Was a chance lost to get to the Eastern Conference Finals?

"Obviously, that was the goal," Wade said. As I talked to Goran [Dragic], we've been together a year and a half, we've been snakebitten a little bit. All you want is a chance. I wish we could have gotten a 100 percent chance, a full chance to see what we could do [if we got to the Eastern Finals].

"It's not always another season, another season. You want to take advantage of the opportunities. But we exhausted all possibilities. We did everything we possibly could to try to get there.  Takes nothing away from what we accomplished. Hopefully, going forward, this organization is not snakebit like it was the last two years losing key players....

"It's a critical offseason for the growth of what we've trying to do as an organization since our run to the Finals... This year was another step in the right direction. Obviously the health of Chris Bosh is important to the future of this organization. We miss him. I missed this year, even more than last year. It's an important offseason. It will be important for the organization, important for Chris and of course it will be important for me."

Wade, on the Heat's rookies: "It's hard in the moment to reflect. More reflecting as the days go on. For those guys to get playoff experience... seven-games against a good Charlotte team and... good Toronto team... That experience will do great for them. They have so many more of these opportunities left. You smile about the possibilities of what they can do. They don't even know yet. This experience... will propel them for the rest of their careers."

What difference did Bismack Biyombo make? "He was active and aggressive," Wade said. "Kind of the same game he had in Game 5."

• Justise Winslow, via Fox Sports Sun, said long rebounds were hurtful today: "It was a great season as a whole for me. As a rookie, to have the role I had, to make it the playoffs, make it to the second round. I'm disappointed. I felt we had a real shot to make a deep run. Definitely tough one to swallow."

Hard to believe no more games? "It's emotional. It will sink in tomorrow. I'll be looking at myself  with nothing to do. Then I'll cheer up. I'm definitely going to miss it. Lot of work to do this offseason. There will be time to reflect tomorrow and days after that. Try to get back to work soon.

"Everything I learned I feel like I'm going to be a better player from it. Whenever I can mentally, emotionally allow myself to reflect I'm sure I will look back and be be sort of satisfied, sort of happy with the season I had."

• Dwane Casey said he had no doubts about sticking with a big lineup against the Heat's small lineup: "It's something I knew we would stick with. I think the 20 offensive rebounds told the story.... Tonight, our big guys made them pay."  (Toronto out-rebounded the Heat, 50-30.)

Check back tomorrow for more Heat news.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz 

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