Miami’s defense was aggressive to start with Jimmy rejecting Ayton on the first play of the game. In fact, Miami did a great job on Ayton early causing him to miss his following two looks and turn the ball over. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long as Ayton would get it going showcasing Miami’s struggles guarding taller players
The Suns would go on a 10-0 run to take an eight-point lead. Jae Crowder unloaded on the Heat with seven points in the first. It’s almost as if he was displeased with not being signed in the offseason.
Miami struggled to score missing seven of their first nine looks but would find a little bit of a rhythm in the final two minutes of the first with Herro and Bam both attacking the paint. They’d go into the second quarter down five.
Turnovers plagued the Heat early in the second and the Heat really looked out of sorts, committing questionable decisions (fouls) that led to Phoenix extending their league by double-digits. With the Heat shooters struggling it forced Bam to be aggressive. He carried the offense until Robinson seemed to break out of his slump hitting two threes. The Heat reserves would come through with Trevor Ariza and Tyler hitting threes and actually get within three.
That wouldn’t last as careless turnovers would allow the Suns to go on a 9-0 lead, and they wouldn’t stop as Devin Booker and company continued to run up the score. Miami went into the second half down 15.
Jimmy Butler finally went to work scoring two straight shots in the paint. But the Suns continued to exploit Miami’s weak defense running up the score and feasting from beyond the arc. It didn’t help that the Heat couldn’t score at all going 2/10 from the field to open the third.
Jimmy and Kendrick did their best to pull Miami back into this one. Nunn posted a 13 point the third quarter, and Herro and Bam both added a couple of great plays to end the quarter. Suddenly, Heat was back within striking distance heading into the fourth.
Johnson and Payne continued Phoenix’s assault with their starters on the bench, and the Heat never found any answers on offense. There were some highlights with Kendrick and Bam both scoring well. But there were also a lot of lowlights like Iggy’s missed dunk and Miami’s porous defense.
It’s hard to say where the Heat goes from here and if we’ve seen Herro, Olynyk, Nunn, or even Precious’s last game in a Heat uniform. We’ll know more Thursday afternoon, but the Heat have to better. It’s one thing to slump from three, but players need to figure out other ways to score to win games.