The good news is that Dwayne Wade didn't have a career scoring night. The bad news, he tied his career high in assists in helping both Cook and Beasley set new scoring records for themselves. The Heat also set a season high in points and the second highest total in franchise history. Both teams hit season highs in 3 point field goals.
The Suns offense definitely looked better then last night in Orlando with fewer turnovers, but it took 14 - 28 shooting from behind the arc to keep the game close at all as the Heat were able to score at will.
The tone was set in the first quarter when Dwayne Wade made his case for MVP by blowing by whatever perimeter resistance the Suns offered and was able to score in the paint, draw fouls or find open team mates.
The Suns responded by playing a zone almost the entire rest of the game which did limit Wade's penetration but also lead to far too many baseline cuts or open three's. Matt Barnes, who had a great shooting night, did not appear used to playing on the back line of the zone as he continuously let cutters go right behind him for open dunks.
Shaq played 30 minutes and had 22 points on the second night of the back to back but he did look tired and perhaps that was from his pregame tirade launched in response comments from that other Stan in Orlando. You can read about all that elsewhere. I don't have the patience for it from either of them.
Nash had another good shooting night putting up and efficient 29 points and more importantly only had 3 turnovers to 10 assists. The team was certainly smoother offensively but then again the Heat didn't exactly play lock down D either.
The loss drops the Suns to 15 - 16 on the road for the season and three games behind Dallas in the loss column.
After going 0-2 on the Florida trip the Suns next travel to Texas for the Spurs and Rockets. A loss against both those teams will make a playoff appearance seem very unlikely.
Box Score * Peninsula is Mightier blog * Game Quotes
Interesting Post Game Quotes via suns.com
Gentry (does any of this sound familiar to you?)
“Well, everyone that has seen him play knows that he is very capable of scoring every time so we had to try to get him slowed down some kind of way so that’s why we went to a zone and Cook and those guys knocked down shots and like I said, Beasley found an opening in the zone and we just couldn’t get those guys contained.”
“We just have to stop penetration mainly. We still struggle with screen-and-rolls, on the high screen-and-rolls especially but we have to be able to guard that. But, we are fine offensively because we can score on any team out there and we’ve already proven that. Now what we have to do is be able to defend to the point where we are at least coming up with stops.
“We have no pressure; we play every game just like we play every game. The pressure comes April 13th when it’s the last game, we’ll either be in the playoffs or we won’t. I thought we played hard and competed. We play hard and we compete hard and that’s really all I can ask the guys to do. I think we play hard and we play unselfishly. We just try to do all the right things.”
On the game: “It was a fun game, but it was the story of our season. D-Wade played fabulous, and Cook, a great shooter, we let him get open too many times. Beasley had a tremendous game. Other than that it was a well played game. It is the story of our season. We let another game slip away.”
“Tonight we really did not do that much. You can’t have Cook and Beasley combining for fifty points. They are going to win 90 percent of those games.”