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MIAMI (SportsDirect Inc.) — The Toronto Raptors are firmly established in second place in the Eastern Conference while the Miami Heat have surrendered their spot in the top four. The Heat will try to find enough healthy bodies to compete when they visit the Raptors on Friday.

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Miami finished the game with just eight healthy players on Wednesday and went down weakly in a 106-87 loss at Washington. The setback marked the third in a row and the sixth in seven for the Heat, who are averaging 80 points in the last three contests. Toronto pushed its winning streak to six in a row by outlasting the Boston Celtics 115-109 on Wednesday and is putting up an average of 104.8 points during the streak. DeMar DeRozan is leading that offensive charge and totaled 64 points on 25-of-50 shooting in the last two games.

8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Sun (Miami), Sportsnet One (Toronto)

ABOUT THE HEAT (23-20): Dwyane Wade (shoulder soreness) sat out the loss at Washington on Wednesday and was eventually joined on the bench by center Hassan Whiteside (oblique) and forward Luol Deng (right eye). “When it’s another guy going down it’s just tough,” Chris Bosh, who is one of the few healthy bodies left, told reporters. “Two weeks ago we were going into a West Coast road trip really trying to prove ourselves with a whole roster, and now we’ve got five or six or seven guys out, and it’s just a tough pill to swallow.” Wade has missed two of the last four games and is day-to-day along with Deng and Whiteside.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (27-15): DeRozan has gone for 30 or more points three times in the last five games and put up 18 of his 34 in the third quarter on Wednesday as Toronto overcame a deficit. “Get him the ball and get out of the way,” point guard Kyle Lowry told reporters of DeRozan. “He’s going to shoot his little Kobe Bryant fadeaways and he’s going to make them. Get him the ball and get out of the way. When he’s on one of them rolls right there, you sit back and watch a bit.” DeRozan put up 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting in a 108-94 win at Miami on Dec. 18.


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1. Raptors SF Terrence Ross is 6-of-10 from 3-point range over the last two games.

2. Heat G Beno Udrih (neck) and F Josh McRoberts (knee) are questionable for Friday.

3. Toronto has taken three of the last four in the series.

PREDICTION: Raptors 102, Heat 89

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