The Miami Heat end their losing streak of four games with a 103-97 win over the Phoenix Suns, led by a big night from Chris Bosh and a lot of help from Loul Deng, while the home team seemed to waste their long range ammunition in the first half.
Bosh scored 34 points and was helped with 23 from Deng, as Miami withstood 51 first half points from the Suns, who shot 8-of-16 from beyond the arc through the first two quarters. They didn’t stop shooting 3’s in the second half, but started missing a lot more and especially when it mattered. Eric Bledsoe missed all six attempts, ruining the good work of Gerald Green (19 points, 5-of-7), Anthony Tolliver and Marcus Morris with 25 points and five 3-pointers as well.
There have been three teams in NBA history to reach the NBA finals and end up without a winning record the next season: The Bulls in 1999, the Lakers in 2005 and the Pacers in 2001. The Heat shouldn’t be one of them – they’re too good and talented and also deep to make it happen, but it’s hard to believe there was no concern as they fell to 9-11 after what looked like a promising start.
Bosh grabbed 9 rebounds, shot 14-of-21 from the field and also added four 3-pointers despite becoming more and more of a post player again this season. The bench gave the Heat nothing in this game, but Dwyane Wade scored 16 points, Norris Cole was actually good for once with 10 points and Josh McRoberts, in the lineup, added 10 points and 7 assists.
In the East, this is the kind of lineup (when it’s healthy) that should be more than enough to not just make it into the playoffs, but give the likes of the Raptors, Wizards, Bulls and Cavaliers a lot of trouble. The Heat have struggled quite badly against Western teams, especially at home, so far this season. A win in Phoenix despite a bad start shows promise that mediocrity isn’t their destiny, and there’s plenty more to expect from them moving forward.