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Five Stars: Heat Set on Suns

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Hassan Whiteside plus three other Miami players populate tonight’s top five performers in the Heat’s 112-97 win against the Phoenix Suns.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

First Star

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 25.5

Whiteside ranked second on the Heat (behind Josh Richardson’s 35:58) with 31:28 on the court. He earned his team-leading 44th Five Star performance with his 17th First Star game. Whiteside led the Heat with 23 points, a plus-23 rating, 14 rebounds (four offensive), and with two blocks, also pitching in three steals and an assist. He went nine-for-18 from the field and five-for-six from the foul stripe, with an estimated PER of 23.91.

He's our shot-blocker, he's our rebounder, he's one of our key players. - unofficial “sixth star” Willie Reed, on Whiteside

Second Star

Marquese Chriss (PHO) 14.0

Chriss was one of three Suns (with Leandro Barbosa and Jarell Eddie) with an estimate PER above the NBA “average” of 15.0, at 15.24. In a game-second-high 38:17, he made seven-of-nine shots from the floor, to include two-of-two from the outside, along with eight-of-10 free throws. Barbosa also had seven rebounds, two steals, and a minus-11 rating.

Third Star

Tyler Johnson (MIA) 13.9

Johnson played his 27th Five Star game and made seven-of-17 shots overall, including two-of-three from deep and one-of-two from the line for 17 points. He came off the bench for 28:58, earning an approximate PER of 17.77 with six rebounds, five steals, four assists, and a minus-2 rating.

Fourth Star

Wayne Ellington (MIA) 13.5

Ellington earned a 13.14 approximate PER in 26:34 for his 11th Five Star appearance. He drained four-of-eight overall, matching his 50% success rate from inside the arc (one-for-two) and outside (three-for-six). Along with his 11 points, he two helpers, a rebound, a steal, and a plus-19 rating.

Fifth Star

Goran Dragic (MIA) 11.9

Dragic played 28:14 and earned a much lower than normal 10.58 estimated PER. He scored 16 points on six-of-15 shooting, making two-of-five from beyond the arc and two-of-three from the charity stripe, with four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a plus-18 rating in his 43rd Five Star game.

Hopefully, he’s going to be ok. - Dragic, speaking about Whiteside, but could be talking about Waiters, Winslow, or even Bosh for that matter