The Miami Heat secured a much needed win last night, beating the Phoenix Suns 103-97. The Heat were desperate to get back on track after a season-worst four game losing streak. For the first time in the month of December, Miami looked strong and poised in the 4th quarter and managed to put away the high-powered Phoenix offense behind Chris Bosh’s 34 points.
Keys To Victory:
1. Big Shot Bosh: Chris Bosh led the way all night long, providing basket after basket when the Heat needed them most. He followed a strong third quarter with a dominant 4th in which he scored 10 of his 34 points. He now leads the team in points for the season, proving he is worth every penny he is earning from that major offseason contract signing.
2. Defense: The Heat have had their fair share of miscues on the defensive side of the ball this season, particularly in the 4th quarter. Miami forced 22 turnovers versus the Suns and were more than stout in the final period of last night’s matchup.
3. Team Contributions: Miami will need the entire squad to contribute consistently if they wish to stay in ball games versus top-tier opponents. The Heat got a healthy 23 points from Forward Luol Deng and another 10 from Josh McRoberts last night. In addition, Deng, Mcroberts and long-time team captain Udonis Haslem made key defensive stops late in the game to help Miami secure a win.
4. Dwyane Wade: D-Wade pulled some vintage Flash type plays last night. He scored a handful of crucial buckets in the 4th and came up big on defense late in the game. He was suffering from a bad headache throughout most of the matchup but managed to tough it out and make several key jumpers to help ice the Suns.
5. Clutch 3-point Shooting: The 4th quarter of last night’s matchup turned into an old fashioned shootout. Suns Forward Marcus Morris hit three 3-pointers in the 4th to keep things interesting. Luol Deng managed to hit what seemed like a dagger from beyond the arc with one minute left but the Suns just kept coming. Eventually, Miami had the last laugh after D-Wade managed to rebound his own missed shot and put the ball back in for the bucket and the foul.
The Miami Heat are 9-0 when heading into the 4th quarter with a lead.
Last night marked the 3rd game of the season in which Chris Bosh scored 30+ points.
The Heat shot 53.8 percent from the floor, a season high for a Phoenix opponent.
The Miami Heat look to keep the ball rolling when they face off against the Denver Nuggets (9-12) tonight at 10:00 pm Eastern.
Grant Cohen ( @GrantCohen )