clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rapid Recap: Suns fall to Heat in heartbreaker, 113-112

It was a tough loss in Miami.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns dropped a heartbreaker in Miami after leading by as many as 13 points early in the 4th quarter. Phoenix falls to 8-5 on the season.

There was a major foul discrepancy in favor of Miami, but ultimately the Suns blew a lead that they should’ve been able to close out.

The Miami Heat threw a wide range of defensive looks at Devin Booker looking to make him uncomfortable, and for the most part, he was not phased in the slightest, making excellent reads all evening long.

The bench unit was critical to Phoenix’s success early, as Duane Washington Jr. got off to a piping hot start, dropping 16 points in his first 8 minutes of play. Damion Lee was also a crucial contributor hitting some tough shots when they needed them most.

Miami closed it out led by Bam Adebayo’s strong 4th quarter and Jimmy Butler’s defensive heroics late on Booker.

Key Performers

Devin Booker — 25 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block 11-22 FG

Duane Washington Jr. — 21 points, 4 assists, 5-8 3PFG, 8-14 FG

Deandre Ayton — 16 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 8-9 FG

Bam Adebayo — 30 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 12-14 FT

Jimmy Butler — 16 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 5-12 FG

1st Half

The Suns trailed 35-31 after the first quarter of action. Miami shot the ball well early, but Phoenix hung around due to a balanced attack.

Booker and Ayton led the charge combining for 13 first-quarter points and Damion Lee chipped in with a couple of triples.

It was the Duane Washington Jr. show early on, as he had 16 points (6-7 FG) in his first 8 minutes of play. He had a highlight reel from that stretch alone as you’ll see below.

Each team plays a similar team-first style predicated on moving the ball around and finding the open man. Those styles clashing led to an expected back-and-forth affair with plenty of lead changes early despite each team missing key contributors.

The foul differential early was an area of concern for the Suns, as they had 9 total fouls while Miami had just 1 (one) after 24 minutes of play. Phoenix had one free throw attempt compared to Miami’s 11.

The three-point shooting was nearly identical between the clubs at the half, as Phoenix shot 9-for-19 and Miami shot 9-for-18 from deep.

Heading into the half, Phoenix trailed by one point, 58-57. Washington had 16 and Booker chipped in with 11 points at the break.

2nd Half

The Suns started with a quick 5-0 punch to retake the lead early in the 3rd quarter.

Deandre Ayton had a monstrous third quarter, taking over on both ends of the floor. His dives to the rim were rewarded by Booker, who was getting hard traps on the perimeter from Miami and he made them pay.

The Suns extended their lead to 11, but a pair of Dedmon threes to close the third (followed by a Landale tip-in) cut the lead down to 6 entering the 4th quarter.

The overall team defense was much improved in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but the individual plays made by both Ayton and Bridges were also spectacular.

Damion Lee hit some huge threes when the momentum started shifting in the other direction. His addition has been critical to a Suns' second unit that has exceeded expectations.

The defensive intensity was truly a fun sight. Book said NOPE!

Phoenix's lead extended to as many as 13 points as they retook the momentum midway through the 4th. Miami quickly responded led by Bam Adebayo and shrunk the Suns' lead down to one at 102 to 101.

Booker hit a massive and-one over the top of Jimmy Butler to extend the Suns’ lead to 107-103, but it was quickly answered by a Caleb Martin triple. On the next possession, Lowry hit a tough movement three to give Miami a two-point lead with 1:38 remaining.

Devin Booker matched Lowry after a timeout by hitting a tough movement three of his own to give the Suns a one-point advantage.

It continued to go back and forth until it didn’t... Jimmy Butler locked up Book to close things out.

Star of the Night

Devin Booker — 25 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block 11-22 FG

Booker was everywhere on both ends and led the offensive attack with a poised demeanor.

Up Next?

Phoenix will host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night at 8 pm on ESPN.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun