The Miami Heat needed a bucket in the final moments of Saturday's game against the Phoenix Suns to finish the six-game road trip on a good note. The Suns battled back from a 15-point third-quarter deficit to cut it to two with two minutes left. Erik Spoelstra went with the two-man game of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The first time, Bosh rolled hard to the rim after a screen and earned a trip to the foul line. Bosh, who is shooting 90 percent from the foul line this year, made both. On Miami's subsequent possession, James decided to drive after receiving a screen from Bosh. He spun away from Marcin Gortat and made a nice layup to put Miami up six with 44 seconds left.
The Heat held on to defeat Phoenix 97-88 and finish its season-long six-game road trip with a respectable 4-2 record. James was a game-time decision for the game with an illness but slammed an Mike Miller alley-oop pass from half court and made a ridiculous reverse dunk in the fourth quarter before delivering yet again in the clutch.
Yes, James wasn't just ill, he was ill.
James played 41 minutes and finished with 21 points and seven rebounds, but Bosh continued to toy with the Phoenix defenders. The Heat's 6-foot-11 championship center finished with a solid 24 points and nine rebounds in 37 minutes. Bosh went 9-of-11 from the field and had his jumper going for him all night long. But Bosh also drove to the rim and earned nine trips to the foul line. But my favorite play from Bosh? When he found a wide-open James in the paint with a behind-the-back pass in the fourth quarter.
With Dwyane Wade sitting out his second consecutive game, James and Bosh received help from others. Shane Battier had a great game from beyond the arc for the second straight night. After knocking down six 3s against Denver, Battier made four against the Suns. Mike Miller added nine points and even made three layups, quite possibly the most he's made since his injury-riddled tenure with the Heat began in 2010. Miller also grabbed five rebounds and five assists, and he's performed well enough to continue playing when Wade returns. He frequently was the victim of blow-bys defensively, but Miller still offers many positives when he comes on to the court.
In addition to Miller, Ray Allen also scored nine points. Allen didn't even attempt a 3, though, and made a crucial fourth-quarter bucket off the dribble. Mario Chalmers shook off foul trouble to score 11 points, including some in the final stanza of play. But he did throw a wild pass that resulted in Goran Dragic cutting the lead to two.
After this grueling road trip, Miami will play next Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30.