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Suns earn hard fought loss against Heat, 112-97

The Suns second stop on a six game road trip ended in the expected fashion.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat
It wasn’t all bad.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Too many turnovers and not enough warm bodies doomed the Suns in South Beach as the team continues to show they are very adept at losing on purpose.

Devin Booker was back in the starting lineup for the Suns, but with Alan Williams becoming the next man up to miss time under mysterious circumstances (this time purportedly because of a stomach issue that the Suns failed to announce before the game) Phoenix was still rolling out a skeleton crew.

I’ll give them this much... when the Suns tank, they tank hard.

I mean, how many teams would have the guts to send out an eight man group on a six game road trip with an abundance of healthy bodies resting peacefully at home?

The roster attrition was conspicuous in this contest, as the Miami Heat bench outscored the Suns bench 40-6 in the first half.

The Suns starters played well to start the game and took a 26-23 lead into the second quarter. That was extended to 36-31 before Miami went on a 21-3 run that reversed the complexion of the game entirely.

Tyler Johnson had 14 points off the bench in the first half to lead the way.

When the Heat looked to their bench for a spark, the likes of Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Willie Reed answered the call.

When the Suns looked to their bench for a spark... they saw empty chairs.

Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker were not sharp in this game and combined for 12 turnovers. The Suns had 15 turnovers in the first half and 24 for the game.

Booker’s shooting woes also continued as he only managed a meager 4-16 from the field.

Marquese Chriss scored 24 points on just 9 field goal attempts, but even he turned over the ball six times.

After a quiet first half Hassan Whiteside was dominant in the second half, finishing with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Phoenix closed to within 11 with about eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, but were never able to pull closer as Miami cruised to the easy victory.

The Suns next game is at Brooklyn against the Nets on Thursday night. Hopefully the Suns can pull out a win and avoid the ignominy of finishing the season with 60 losses. With the third seed in the reverse standings firmly in hand, one measly win wouldn’t hurt too much. If they can’t steal one from the Nets it seems like the number of winnable games left on the schedule is dwindling.

This recap was brought to you by #tankhard and #managementdecisions.

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