The Heat’s suffocating defense overwhelmed Phoenix, handing Miami the 107-92 victory.
The Suns did a great job hanging with the two-time defending champions, but when both LeBron James and Dwayne Wade have it going offensively it is hard to come out with the victory. Add in some easy baskets from Chris (The Birdman) Anderson and Michael Beasley, and the Suns didn’t stand a chance.
The Suns held a slight lead in the first quarter, but were down by three going into the second. Then the Heat took over. They were leading by nine, but Phoenix pushed back. The Heat were up by three following a LeBron step-back three at the buzzer, going into the half.
The teams see-sawed back and forth, but by the fourth-quarter the Heat pulled away.
LeBron was just terrific. He was scoring with ease from all over the court. He hit a couple threes, seemingly-impossible turnaround jumpers, going 11-11 from the free throw line, finishing with 35 points in 33 minutes on a fantastic .786 percent shooting from the floor. Everything is just effortless for him. He even added five rebounds, four assists, a steal and an amazing chase-down block.
Dwayne Wade went “retro flash” against the Suns. He scored 21 points, while adding 12 assists and six rebounds. One of his buckets was a drive that resulted in a rim-rocking jam. Wade finished a game-high +22.
Ray Allen added 17 points and a +17 plus/minus and Anderson scored 11 in the win.
Phoenix’s scoring was balanced with six players all scoring between 8 and 16 points.
While he only finished with 14 points, Goran Dragic’s performance was probably the most impressive. The Dragon tallied eight rebounds and nine assists, falling slightly short of a triple-double, but getting closer than LeBron did.
The Heat’s defense was superb. They were swarming, switching on pick and rolls, rotating quickly and fluidly, and flying to the open man. That combined with James and Wade’s offensive onslaught and Phoenix missing playmaker Eric Bledsoe again, spelled disaster for the Suns.
Phoenix went 2-1 on the road trip and lost an acceptable second game of a road back to back to the two-time defending championships. You couldn’t say that about them last year.
Phoenix returns to the valley of the Sun for a Wednesday matchup against the red-hot 13-2 Portland Trailblazers for what seems like the millionth time (but is actually the third).