Suns Falter Late, Lose to Heat
The Suns knew they had to do two things above all others: not turn the ball over and stay on Miami's shooters.
For the most part of the game, they succeeded.
Come fourth quarter, however, LeBron James created enough opportunities in both departments, helping the Heat take control and, eventually, the 103-97 win.
Miami hit five of their nine three-pointers in the fourth quarter and forced four Suns turnovers. Despite nine fourth-quarter points from Gerald Green, who would finish with a team-high 26, it proved too much to overcome.
"Turnovers, man," Frye said. "They're extremely long and athletic. They get in the passing lanes and we had some crucial turnovers in the end. I can only speak for myself. I just need to be more patient and not take the first option, make sure I look and make sure I make the right assessment."
Phoenix raced out to a 12-0 lead to start the game behind eight first-quarter points from Goran Dragic. The Heat, however, used a zone-trap defense to halt the point guard's momentum. Green and Chaning Frye (15 points, six rebounds) filled in production-wise, while P.J. Tucker (14 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one block) did a little bit of everything while guarding LeBron James every minute he was on the floor.
It wasn't enough, however, as the Suns dropped their third game in the last four contests heading into the All-Star Break. Phoenix returns to regular season action on Dec. 18 when they play at Denver.
The Suns were on the verge of a spirited comeback in the closing minutes, having cut a seven-point deficit to four on a Gerald Green three-pointer with 1:03 remaining.
One defensive stop away from making it a one-possession game, Dragic and Tucker trapped LeBron James on the far left side after the Heat forward picked up his dribble.
James responded with the game-saving assist, throwing a two-handed, cross-court pass to Chris Bosh, who nailed a right-angle three to push the lead back to seven just before the shot clock expired.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"That play when me and Tuck blitzed LeBron on the sideline and he threw that pass to the other side of the court and Bosh made a three, I think that was like a dagger for us." -- Goran Dragic
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Gerald Green proved impossible for the Heat to guard, especially with their defensive efforts focused on Goran Dragic. The veteran swingman scored 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting and added five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block to his stat line.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
STAT(S) OF THE NIGHT
24: the number of points Miami scored off of 16 Suns turnovers. Essentially, every Phoenix turnover resulted in 1.3 points for the Heat.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Really proud of this team for staying competitive down to the last minute with tough teams. #SunsVsHeat— Sarah Mikkelson (@smmikkelson) February 12, 2014