The Miami Heat used a 21-3 run the in the second quarter to create a lot of space from the Phoenix Suns and never looked back. The Heat out scored the Suns 36-20 in that quarter and it propelled them to an easy double digit win, 112-97
The win improved the team to 35-36 on the season, and coupled with a Detroit Pistons loss to the Brooklyn Nets, back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Heat have 11 games remaining this regular season.
Hassan Whiteside made his way into the Miami Heat record books tonight in a few ways.
- He set the franchise record with 13 straight double doubles.
- He set the franchise record with 57 double digit rebounding games in a season.
- He set the franchise record for rebounds in a season passing Rony Siekely (934).
I’d say that was a pretty good night for the big man. He finished the game with 23 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He was locked in and pretty good in this game. However, he left the game with under 3 minutes remaining with bleeding and a gash in his hand from hitting the backboard. This is just speculation, but he will likely miss some time.
But for tonight, Miami was on their game offensively, and they forced/watched the Suns into 24 turnovers for the game. That was enough to make it work tonight.
The story for Miami, besides Whiteside, was the bench. The Heat had four players in double figures off the bench: Tyler Johnson (17), James Johnson (10), Wayne Ellington (11), and Willie Reed (12).
Goran Dragic contributed 16 points and Josh Richardson had 14 points. Miami simply used good ball movement, cutting/screens and playing their groove. The Heat were sound defensively and were anchored by Whiteside.
The Suns were without some key contributors — Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler. They are a young team and play with energy, but they didn’t play together.
That is where Miami is really excelling. Dragic is making things work for everyone, and the Heat have a great punch off the bench when Ellington and both Johnsons are doing what they do best.
This game changed when the Heat turned it up defensively and starting running on the break. They are an exciting team right now!
Next Up: Thursday, 7:30 PM vs the Toronto Raptors.