The Phoenix Suns came into tonight's contest as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, sporting a 4 game winning streak and sitting just one game out of the 8th seed in the west. The Miami Heat looked to extend their winning steak to 3.
The Heat's frontcourt issues were even more apparent tonight, as Joel Anthony was unable to play, sidelined with a left ankle sprain. Dexter Pittman started in his place, but Udonis Haslem saw the majority of minutes throughout.
Dwyane Wade did not attempt a shot in the first quarter but Chris Bosh and Lebron James shouldered the load offensively. Miami as a team was sharp early, shooting 58% in the 1st half.
Down by as many as nine in the 2nd quarter, the Suns closed the half on a 13-3 run and went into the break with a 53-49 lead.
Miami struggled in the 3rd quarter, shooting a dismal 38% and fell behind by as many as 8. The Heat found themselves trailing 75-72 going into the 4th quarter.
Dwyane Wade scored just 8 points through the first 3 quarters, but scored 11 in the 4th, leading Miami during a 17-0 run that would prove to be the difference. Wade would finish with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists on 6-18 shooting.
Chris Bosh was sensational tonight, continuing his torrid shooting and finishing with a game high 29 points, 8 rebounds on an efficient 12-16 shooting.
Lebron James finished with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists but survived two scary collisions. James appeared to land on his right elbow in the early going off a Markief Morris foul in the lane. He later collided with Grant Hill on a dangerous scrambled play, causing him to hit his head on Hill's shoulder. James continued to play and no reports have surfaced of a possible injury yet.
Dixter Pittman got the start for injured Joel Anthony, but Udonis Haslem played the majority of the minutes as the Heat primarily played small ball. Haslem played exceptional, finishing with a season high 15 points and 9 rebounds.
- Pat Riley celebrated his 67th birthday today
- Dwayne Wade did not attempt a shot in the first quarter for just the 9th time in his last 583 regular season games
- Miami went on a 17-0 run in the 4th quarter
- The Heat made 13-16 free throws in the final quarter
- Miami is 3-17 in their last 2 games from beyond the arc
- Mario Chalmers finished with 1 point, his second lowest scoring total of the season
- Heat matched the Suns in rebounds 41-41
- Heat have now won 3 straight