The Miami Heat had a big first quarter, but could not build on it and fell to the Toronto Raptors 101-84 on Thursday.
The Heat remained in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference even with the loss, but they missed a chance to improve their standing. Instead of moving to a half-game back of seventh and sixth, Miami is now 1.5 games back of both idle seeds. The Heat also had an opportunity to inch closer to fifth, but instead are now 2.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks.
After taking a ten-point lead into the second quarter, the Heat only led by two at the half. The Raptors continued their strong play in the third quarter, and led by seven before the final 12 minutes of play. Miami scored 33 points in the first quarter, and 34 combined in the next two quarters. In the final quarter, Toronto outscored Miami by another ten points.
Hassan Whiteside started despite suffering a hand laceration in Miami's last game. The center had the hand bandaged, and his status was in question until right before tip-off. Whiteside notched another double-double, even with the injury. The 27-year old had 16 points and 14 rebounds to go along with two blocks in his 30 minutes.
After some success at the three-point line in their last win, the Heat had plenty of trouble on trey attempts in this game. Miami was only 6-23 combined on shots from downtown, as part of a 32-82 overall evening on field goal attempts.
Miami will begin a quick road trip on Sunday in Boston against the Celtics at 6:00 p.m.