Playing is practicing, although a comparatively inefficient form of practicing. Practicing focuses on an area and masters it, playing puts everything together all at once, focusing on the product, and not the details. When a good or great player says "I never practice" - may be, but he definitely plays and plays a lot. No one sits in a closet never lifting their instrument or voice for a moment and is then called upon to perform a masterful concert and does so. There are lots of ways to use this truth, one of them is hey, if you're discouraged or bored with practicing, try playing a lot. Play with friends, play with records, play alone, but playing will get you progressing, certainly a lot more than just sitting there.
When a passage is particularly fast or difficult, hear the correct notes simultaneously with your playing, like listening to a record.