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Heat Defeat Raptors, 93-83

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Miami earns their 51st victory of the season and pull mathematically even with the Indiana Pacers in defeating the Raptors by 10 points.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

First Quarter

Udonis Haslem started the Heat out by missing an 18-footer from the left baseline and a 15-footer from the top of the key. Chris Bosh got into the bricking act by missing his first two shots, a 22-footer from the right wing and a layup, followed by a missed three point attempt from Toney Douglas. Meanwhile, the Raptors sprinted out to a six-point lead. After missing their first five field goals of the evening, Mario Chalmers halved Toronto's lead with his first shot of the night, a three-pointer from the same spot that Douglas had missed from the moment before.

After Miami forced a Raptors turnover, Chalmers assisted on James' first bucket of the night, a sprawling tip in that left the Heat trailing 6-5. A technical free throw by Bosh tied it up with four minutes gone. Bosh made the next basket, followed by a Demarr Derozan jumpshot. UD tied it at 10 for Miami with his first successful field goal attempt in three tries on the evening.

Bosh and 'Bron both missed three-pointers as the two teams went into the first TV time out with six minutes left in the opening frame. Bosh got a friendly roll a moment later, getting fouled on the shot but missing the free throw for a two-point Heat deficit against his professional alma mater. James rattled home a three-point shot next, chipping the Raptors lead down to one, followed by a Bosh slam dunk which put the Heat on top by the same margin.

James blew by Terrence Ross on Miami's next offensive possession, earning the hoop, the harm, and the three-point play. After the Raptors missed their next shot, Norris Cole threw the ball out of bounds, followed by an unforced Raptors turnover. The Heat capitalized with a drive and layup by the Birdman Chris Andersen. The half ended with Miami holding on to a tenuous one-point lead on James drive and slam dunk, 24-23.

Second Quarter

A Birdman block prevented the Raptors from scoring first, an honor earned instead with one-of-two Norris Cole field goal attempts. Cole stole the next possession, and after some top-tier ball movement by Miami's second unit, the Birdman went to the line, making both of his attempts for a 27-23 Heat lead.

After Toronto scored the next nine points, Rashard Lewis got Miami back on the board with a one-handed floater from the left side. to bring the Heat back to within three. The Raptors then scored five more points before the Heat called a timeout with seven minutes left in the half.

Rio drained a three from the left wing, followed by a Steve Novak triple to keep the Toronto lead at eight. They extended the lead out to 10 before Miami could score again, a three-pointer by James Jones from the right baseline. Chalmers was fouled on the play, and he and Jones combined for the four-point play. Jones then made a pair of free throws to cut the lead down to four.

Novak made another three for the Raptors, followed by a drive and a foul on King James, resulting in a three-point play. A few minutes later, Lowry got on the wrong end of a collision with James, laying on the floor while the King drove the lane and drew a foul. LeBron made both foul shots to bring Miami back to within two.

Bosh assisted Birdman for a quick dunk, but DeRozan kept the Heat down by four with a layup. James took a circuitous route to the basket for another quick two, then stole a Raptors pass and took it all the way to the rim to knot the score at 49 with a minute left in the half.

Bosh made the extra pass to give James Jones another three pointer from the right baseline, and LeBron sunk a pair of free throws to give Miami a three-point lead. The score was 54-51 at the half.

Third Quarter

Nobody could buy a shot as the second half got underway until Toney Douglas put an easy two footer in the hoop after two minutes had elapsed. His shot gave Miami a five point lead, to that point Miami's biggest lead of the night. Chalmers made a three pointer from the left key for an eight point lead. King James added two more going coast-to-coast on Miami's next touch.

Next, Bosh matched a Lowry bucket, followed by a Jonas Valanciunas two-pointer. With six minutes left in the quarter, James was fouled (mugged) on his way the basket by DeRozan, resulting in one-of-two free throws and a nine-point Heat lead. DeRozan stole it from Rio a moment later, and scored easily in transition. Bosh equalized it with a 20-foot jumper from the left wing. The Raptors missed a shot, and Bron turned it over on a travel.

Bosh sunk a step back jumper with four minutes left in the quarter, getting fouled and making the free throw for a 69-57 Heat lead. James ran it out to 14 with a wicked slam dunk a second later. James made another shot, and Birdman made his second block of the night. LeBron missed a three-point shot at the buzzer, and Miami settled for a 74-65 lead going into the final quarter.

Fourth Quarter

Mario Chalmers opened the fourth quarter with a basket, then rebounded Toronto's miss the next time down the floor. The Raptors scored the next basket, and Andersen tipped in a Cole miss from deep to keep the difference at 11 points.

Toronto scored the next eight points on the Heat. Valanciunas was fouled by Rio, but I'm not sure how, as the big guy was throwing knees and elbows in the air and Rio was just going for the ball. I guess there's no need for sour grapes though, seeing as how the game finished up in the end.

The Birdman ended the Raptors run with a three-foot offensive rebound/putback, earning a free throw (made) and reestablishing a six point lead. Rio had a nice alley-oop completed by the Birdman to keep the lead at five, and Miami forced a 24-second violation. The next time down, the Birdman grabbed an offensive rebound, but James missed an easy layup to let the Raptors stay within striking distance. Bosh scored his first basket of the quarter with four minutes left on an 11-foot floater and a seven-point lead.

Bosh stole the ball on the next Toronto possession and returned the ball to Toronto's net, and was answered by Vasquez' three-pointer to keep the lead at six with 2:30 to go. Douglas made his first three-pointer of the night on his next trip down.

James made driving, underhanded scoop while falling out of bounds with under two minutes left to give the Heat another 11-point lead. He was fouled on the play, and of course he made the shot. The final score stood at 93-83, and Miami holds a slight advantage for the first place spot in the Eastern Conference for the first time this season.