Tyler Johnson led the Heat with 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including all three of his triples to lead Miami to a 115-96 win over the Suns. Goran Dragic scored 21 points in under 15 minutes, including both of his triples, Dwyane Wade had 15 points with nine assists, four rebounds and four steals, and Michael Beasley scored a dozen on six-of-10 shooting off the bench, finishing with a game-high plus-22.
Hassan Whiteside started out the first quarter with a block, and got better from there. The big guy hit three-of-five from the field in the opening frame, along with three offensive boards. I could have sworn I saw him make three blocks altogether, but the box score is telling me that I'm wrong. His seven points led the Heat, while Markieff Morris led both teams with eight. Miami never led through the frame, but the Suns never got more than six points ahead as the clock hit 0:00 with the score, Phoenix 24-23.
The second quarter would see Wade come alive with nine points, four helpers, and four steals, including a coast-to-coast theft-to-dunk to put Miami up by 14 with three and a half minutes left until the half. The Heat led by as many as 18 points, shooting at an almost assuredly unsustainable 57.5%, going 23-for-40. Whiteside continued to pick 'em up and lay 'em down, making all three of his shots (two of them on dunks) and blocking another shot. Through the half, Tyler Johnson came off the bench for a very efficient three-of-four from the field, while reclamation project Beasley scored four with three boards, a block, a steal, and an assist with a game high plus-15 rating. Marcus Morris sat at the other end of the spectrum, going a game-worst minus-20 in 16 minutes. Meanwhile, the Suns' Alex Len quietly collected eight rebounds. Both teams hit the locker room with the Heat leading, 62-48.
Luol Deng started out the third with his second three pointer on Wade's sixth assist of the night. With a little more than three minutes gone, Markieff Morris fouled Dragic hard on a breakaway layup attempt, and was subsequently assessed a flagrant-2 foul and ejected from the game. In my humble opinion, I don't think that Morris had any hostile intent, but rulz is rulz. The Suns followed with a quick six-point run, drawing a fifth foul on Dragic in the process. Whiteside closed their mini-run with a thunderous dunk, drawing a foul and getting the Heat's lead back out to 11. Another Whiteside dunk a few minutes later led to an ugly turn of events when Len basically smacked the back of Whiteside's head on his way down. Whiteside's arm inadvertently brushed Lens' shoulder on the same sequence, leading immediately to Len pushing Whiteside to the ground. Whiteside tackled Len in retaliation. The aftermath would see both players ejected. Whiteside finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds along with two blocks and two steals. Len also finished with a double double, with 10 points and 11 boards. The Suns would close to within seven on two occasions before Johnson ended the frame with a Wade-assisted layup for an 85-74 lead.
Beasley and Johnson took over for the Heat in the fourth quarter, scoring Miami's first 12 points before Udonis Haslem made both free throw attempts after a Suns foul with five minutes remaining. Dragic would pour it on to close out the Suns with 10 points on four field goal attempts in just under three minutes.
Miami's next game is another home matchup, against the woeful Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night at 8PM on ESPN. You can find all your Heat news in the meantime, here at HHH. For more on the Suns, go to Bright Side of the Sun.