It was perhaps the one time LeBron James refused to pay attention to a statistic.

Teammates often brag about how he studies teams around the league on a daily basis. Player tendencies. Scoring numbers. Trends.

You name it, James knows it.

Only this time, James wanted no part of monitoring this particular stat. He had no interest in how the rest of the Eastern Conference was lacking compared to the Heat and the Indiana Pacers. On Friday, Miami defeated the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors 90-83 at Air Canada Centre.

Even though the Raptors made it interesting in the end, it was yet another sign the Heat's biggest enemy could be boredom. Thus far, it appears the regular season and playoffs could end up a two-team race with the rest of the conference struggling so much.

"It's not our concern," James said. "Our motto is to do what we do, worry about we can control. We just need to get better each and every day. We can't worry about other people's struggles."

The Heat won their ninth straight game, with seven coming against teams from the East. As of Friday, just Miami and Indiana had records above .500. The Raptors were only atop the division because the remaining teams had a combined record of 25-51.

"Numbers don't lie," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "You look at Indiana and Miami right now, they're the cream of the crop with their records. The rest of us are kind of treading water."

The reality is the current No. 8 seed in the West, the Golden State Warriors, would be the third in the East. National pundits, including Charles Barkley, have already criticized the state of the conference.

"It's down," Heat center Chris Bosh said. "I don't think anybody really saw it coming. A lot of teams have struggled very early."

For a second straight game, the Heat appeared to toy with an outmatched opponent. They built a first-half, double-digit lead, showing no signs of a holiday hangover. After leading by 57-43 at halftime, the Heat extended the lead to 20. It happened despite Bosh going to the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 11:36 left in the third quarter.