Jan 5, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem (40) shoots over Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors Edged Out By Miami Heat

The Toronto Raptors fell just short from winning their sixth straight in losing to the Miami Heat 102-97

Demar Derozan lead the team in scoring, putting up 26 points. He also added 7 assists and 4 rebounds.

Kyle Lowry was solid yet again in scoring 14 points and adding 9 assists. He missed a game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

It was a slow start to the 4th quarter that cost the Raptors the win. Scoring just four points in over seven minutes to start the quarter, the Heat took the lead and never gave it back.

The Toronto Raptors were able to get within one point, but Lebron James and the Heat pulled out the close game. These are the games that will ultimately define the Toronto Raptors. Will they be able to use this as a motivational tool, knowing they were neck and neck with the two time defending champions?

Having already beaten the Indiana Pacers earlier in the week, the Raptors showed that they are definitely capable of becoming the third best team in the East.

Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson had solid games, each finishing with 17 points. Valanciunas was ultra-efficient on 7/8 shooting from the field, and 3/4 from the line. He also added 5 rebounds.

Johnson lead the Raptors with 8 rebounds, and he provided key second chance opportunities in the late 4th to keep it close. Patrick Patterson had another good game off the bench adding 11 points to go with 7 rebounds.

The loss marked the end of the Toronto Raptors 5-game winning streak. It also evened their record to 16-16 on the year, and they remain in 1st place in the Atlantic division and are holding down the 4th seed in the East.

Look out for The Rap Up later today, where I will break down the Toronto Raptors week that was, and look ahead to the future.

Tags: Toronto Raptors

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