Enough is enough. The Heat weren't going to give a dud effort in this one. They came out and played hard and aggressive from the beginning through the end. The Heat were able to pull out a much needed with against the Phoenix Suns 103-97.
The Heat got off to a great start, starting the game 9-2, but found themselves trailing by halftime. The Suns for the entire game were hot from deep. Phoenix shot a blistering 17-35 from downtown. Some of them were poor defense and no rotation, and some of them were in your face shoot it anyway type plays. Either way, the long-ball kept the Suns in and ahead at times.
For the Heat, it was the play of Chris Bosh from the perimeter that made the difference. Bosh scored 34 points (14 in the third) to lead the Heat. He shot 14-21, had 9 rebounds and 4 steals. He was one constant the Heat desperately needed in this one to get the win. Miami scored 57 points in the second half to hang with the Suns.
"We haven't been in games in the 4th quarter lately. As long as we give ourselves a chance to win in the 4th, we have a shot." -- Luol Deng
In a game that saw Dwyane Wade not score 20+ for the first time in a long time (he had 16 points), Luol Deng stepped up and had 23 points for the Heat. Norris Cole finally scored in double figures with 10 and Josh McRoberts joined him there as well. The Heat bench totaled 10 points in the win.
The Morris twins combined for 42 points for the Suns, and Gerald Green had 19 off the bench including 5-7 from three. But the Suns never took advantage of the Heat's lack of size. Still without Chris Andersen, Miami only played McRoberts, Shawne Williams and Udonis Haslem alongside Bosh in the power rotation. Phoenix only had three more rebounds than the Heat.
Keys to the Game
The big story for the game, besides Phoenix shooting lots of threes, was Miami forcing the Suns into 22 turnovers. It really was why they won the game when you think about it. The Suns were getting good looks even when they were missing them. It was only because the Heat forced them to turn it over that they took those possessions away from them. The Heat had only 11 turnovers.
The Heat also dominated the inside. While the Suns were shooting from outside, the Heat had 58 points in the paint, as to the Suns 24. The Heat got the ball inside often through great passing. It was a strategic game plan for Miami who didn't spend much time shooting from three. Norris Cole, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng...it seemed everyone was getting into the paint.
It's clear the Heat still have some more work to do, and the grind doesn't stop as they are in Denver on Wednesday night.
Josh McRoberts couldn't finish the game after falling to the floor for a loose ball with the game in the balance for the Heat. McRoberts had played a really great game. Miami was a +17 with him on the court. It's unclear whether it was just a stinger or something else, but he tried to play through it.
If you missed the game, it really was a great game to watch and worth another look. If you can stomach an opponent continually dropping three-pointers on you, it was a good finish. Clutch baskets from Bosh, Deng and Wade all lead the Heat to victory.
Miami is now 10-11 on the season.
#HEATgame Final: HEAT 103 - Suns 97. Bosh 34pts 9rebs, Deng 23pts (9-12 FG), Wade 16pts 6rebs 5asts, McRoberts 10pts 7asts, Cole 10pts.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 10, 2014