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Haslem, Richardson out vs. Raptors

TORONTO – Forwards Udonis Haslem and Quentin Richardson are getting close to returning from injuries that have left the Heat without two of its top defenders.


But they weren’t close enough to be cleared to play in Friday’s game against the Raptors. Haslem missed his second game in a row with a strained left shoulder he aggravated in Tuesday’s loss to Oklahoma City.


Richardson missed his first start of the season Friday with a lower back strain, an injury he sustained in the third quarter of Wednesday’s road loss against Atlanta. James Jones, who finished last season as the starter, replaced Richardson in the lineup at small forward on Friday.


Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Haslem and Richardson have players have progressed in their recoveries, but could use two more days of rest.


“They both wanted to (play), but there’s still pain, not 100 percent,” Spoelstra said Friday. “They are feeling better the last 24 hours.”


The Heat next plays on Sunday at home against New Orleans.


“I went through shootaround (Friday) and I was planning on playing,” said Haslem, the Heat’s leading rebounder. “They’re going to have to drug me Sunday to keep me off the court. I’m playing Sunday.”


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