The Miami Heat made EVERY BIG SHOT in this game. When Jimmy Butler wasn’t going for 30 points on 10 shots, Goran Dragic was going for 14 points in three minutes to help put the game out of reach.
The Suns worked hard, scrapped every play, but just could not get the Heat to miss enough shots to take the lead.
The pivotal point of the game happened when the Suns had pulled to 88-86 but Cameron Johnson was snuffed on a fast break drive and Mikal Bridges was snuffed on a three point attempt (both blocks by until-recently-banished James Johnson for being out of shape), countered by Goran Dragic scoring eleven points in 1:29 of play.
That was the Suns night.
The Miami Heat are now 6-2 while the Suns fall to 5-3 on the season.
- Dragic scored a season high 25 points on 9-14 shooting (5-7 on threes), plus 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Welcome back to Phoenix, my man!
- Jimmy Butler scored 30 in the first half, then let his teammates go nuts in the second half for the close out win before putting in some final touches in the fourth.
- Bam Adebayo had 15 points and 10 rebounds
For the Suns
- Aron Baynes had 23 points
- Devin Booker had 22, but then was blitz double-teamed by Bam and his defender — Bam has such good feet — to stall the whole offense
- Ricky Rubio had 11 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists
Suns made only 11-32 on threes against the Heat’s 15-28, and just 44% of their shots to the Heat’s 55% — the first time this season the Suns were outshot from the field for an entire game. Miami’s bench had 52 points to the Suns 28.
Final score, Miami wins 124-108
Three possessions for the Heat, three shots right at the rim. And then on the fourth, an open three for Meyers Leonard. Not a great defensive start for the Suns.
On the other end, the Suns were sloppy, and it was quickly a 9-4 lead for the Heat.
Then it was 18-6 when the Heat made their next few shots in a row — starting the game 7-8 from the field, including 2-3 on threes. Jimmy Butler and Kendrick Nunn had 13 of the 16 points, being defended primarily by Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre Jr. The Suns, meanwhile, were only 2-6 from the field at that point, both buckets by Aron Baynes.
After the Heat pulled out to 21-10, the Suns went on a quick 5-0 spurt on a three by Saric (finally made one!), block by Oubre and fast break outlet to Booker. Timeout Heat.
The Suns had their mojo after that, and fought the Heat on every possession to match the Heat’s aggression.
End of 1: 31-30 Heat
Welp. The second quarter started poorly, with Miami once again cooking with fire while the Suns were stuck with wet coals. Miami blew out to a 12-2 run, backups against backups.
Timeout Suns, down 43-32.
Miami just kept hitting shots, while the Suns kept clanking. Still, the Suns once again went on a run to close the game to 57-57, but then Jimmy Butler went on a personal 7-0 with two of those baskets after cleaning up his teammates misses.
Suns down 64-57 at half
Miami shooting 53.5%, including 50% on threes (7-14). Jimmy Butler with 30 points on 10 field goal attempts (9-10 from the field, 10-10 FTs).
After killing the Suns with scoring in the first half, Butler decided to help his teammates make it rain. He started the second half with a pick and roll to Bam, then a weak-side pass for an open three by Nunn. Suddenly, the Miami lead is 12 again.
No one has the hot hand for the Suns to counteract Miami hitting on all cylinders. That’s not gonna work here.
Suns really need to start making more shots and stopping Miami’s shot-making.
Then Booker and Rubio both hit threes and Kelly Oubre drew a foul on a three-point attempt (making one) and the Suns were back within 5 at 79-74, forcing a Miami timeout.
Devin Booker worked hard to offset the lack of offense from Frank Kaminsky and Jevon Carter, but Miami just kept making big buckets — this time getting seven points from Dragic on three possessions.
But the Suns had a chance to tie the game on a fast break, if Miami hadn’t collectively had incredible transition D and blocked Cam Johnson’s slam attempt at the rim. Bam made a pair of free throws, Mikal got a three-point attempt blocked and Dragic made a three at the buzzer with time running out.
Miami up 93-86 after three. MAKING. EVERY. BIG. SHOT.
Dragic stayed nuclear, kicking off the fourth with another pair of threes to give him 14 points in the last 3.5 minutes of play and 21 for the game (5-7 on threes). Welcome back to Phoenix, Goran!
Miami up 103-91 on the Suns. Most all of their shots contested, but Miami doesn’t care. 53% from the field. 54% on threes. 18-20 on FTs. Doing it all right.