When the Miami Heat were introduced Friday night, the Phoenix fanbase cheered loudest for Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic. It was only right that the backcourt live up to their pregame reaction. Wade, along with former Suns Dragic and Gerald Green, had fiery 20 point games to power the Heat to their 11 straight win over the Phoenix Suns.
Dragic was the first Heat player on the scoreboard, twice, with back-to-back triples to start the game. The point guard who played six seasons in Phoenix looked at ease on his former home court; Dragic led the Heat with eight points and a handful of setups in the early going. Brandon Knight, who played the full first quarter, kept Phoenix in the game, only being down 21-20 to enter the second.
After a dull first quarter, the fun would start in the second quarter. Gerald Green, who had his best years with the Suns, had a complete 10 points in the second alone, including a alley-oop dunk from Wade. Bosh and Wade got in on the action too with a few jump shots to push the Heat ahead. The defense would get in there as well with one play standing out in particular; another former Sun, Amar'e Stoudemire, had his third and best block on Markieff Morris midway through the quarter. At the free throw line Miami would dial in, making 17 of 18 in the first-half, to give them a 53-40 lead at halftime. Wade had 14 points and Dragic 12 at intermission.
Return to sender. ✋ Sincerely, STAT. pic.twitter.com/q32HVkxJNf— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 9, 2016
All hell broke lose in the third quarter as Pheonix went on a 25-6 run to open the period after trailing by 13. Devin Booker, the 13th pick in Junes draft, went on a personal 11-0 run to spark the Suns. The 19-year old showed the whole package, even connecting on a four point play after getting fouled by Bosh. Brandon Knight collaborated with Booker on the big run, scoring eight points in a minute, to give Phoenix a six point lead.
Unlike previous meltdowns Miami wouldn't let this game get away from them, especially on the first game of a six game road trip. For the Heat's Dragic and Green it held more weight, another collapse would not be allowed, not against the team that traded (Dragic) and didn't bring them back(Green). So the duo made it a priority to bring the Heat back.
To get the lead back, Dragic stole the ball from Booker and passed it ahead to Green for a thunderous dunk. Dragic then hit a couple runners in the lane and dished out a few more assists. Green showed his other powers, with strong defense on the other side of the floor, before hitting a three to close the quarter. They're combined efforts led to 18-8 end the period and steal the game back.
Another NBA rim falls victim to Gerald Green. (Fox Sports Sun) pic.twitter.com/8rD5DLW419— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 9, 2016
Dragic and Green would continue to hammer the Suns in the following quarter. Knocking down timely threes, free-throws and layups, the pair scored all of Miami's points up until the 3:52 mark. Phoenix stayed in the game with star play from Brandon Knight and the three point production of Mirza Teletovic.
Then, on a fast break sprint, Devin Booker would commit a hard foul on Dwyane Wade in the air. No flagrant was called but the play certainly fueled Wade. The future hall-of-famer punished the Suns; drawing multiple fouls on the Suns' young guys and even slamming a putback dunk, Wade ended any type of comeback the Suns had in store with nine points in clutch time. The final result: a 103-95 win on the road.
Wade had a game-high with 27 points on 9-14 shooting. In the process he moved into the 45th place on the NBA all-time scoring list. Dragic tied his season-high with 22 points, 7 assists and three triples in his return showcase while Gerald Green put up 21 points off the bench. Bosh added 14 points and Justice Winslow collected 10 rebounds. Brandon Knight led the Suns with 26 points and Devin Booker 16.
The Heat continue their long road trip with a back-to-back against the Jazz.
Miami plays in Utah @ 9:00 P.M.