Two of the hottest teams in the NBA in both name and record tipped-off on Thursday night as the Miami Heat came to Phoenix to take of the Suns.
The Suns had only trailed by double-digits for a total of 15 seconds in their first seven games and not once since the season opener, but that stat came to a halt as the Heat came out firing early in the first quarter. The Heat took a 12-point lead midway through the first and the game quickly looked to be getting out of hand, but a Suns run in the closing minutes led by seven points from Devin Booker and six points from Dario Šarić brought the Suns to within just one heading into the second.
Both the second and third quarters had very similar skeletons to the first as the Heat would begin to pull away with a double-digit lead, but the Suns would show their resilience and find themselves on a run near the end of the frame to either tie it or bring the deficit within reach. This was until former Sun Goran Dragic began to take over for the Heat.
The Suns brought the game to within just two with two minutes left in the third, but Dragic went on to score 10 points in the final couple of minutes, topped-off by a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send the Heat into the fourth up by seven.
The Heat went up by as many as 19 in the fourth, but even when hope seemed lost, the Suns continued to battle, continued to push the ball and continued to stay aggressive. The Suns went on a couple late runs, but it seemed like the Heat always had a response as they ultimately closed out the game with a 124-108 victory.
Aron Baynes: 23 points, 10-17 FG, 4 rebounds
Devin Booker: 22 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Kelly Oubre Jr.: 15 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks
Ricky Rubio: 11 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal
Tyler Johnson: 11 points, 3-6 FG, 2-4 3P
The Suns made 11 three-pointers tonight and have 100 through their first eight games, the most through eight games of a season in team history. The Suns have made 11+ three-pointers in six consecutive games, now the longest streak in team history surpassing the previous high of five straight games making 11+ triples from March 30-April 8, 2005.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
COACH MONTY WILLIAMS ON TEAM’S DEMEANOR: “They’re fine. Listen, this is not new for me. I’ve said this, before tonight it was seven games, it’s eight. This is a chance for us to grow and respond, and I believe our guys will. But this is to be expected, you’re going to have games like this and you have to respond, and that is where character and integrity should come to the forefront.”
DEVIN BOOKER ON GETTING BACK TO WORK: “[Monty Williams] always says, ‘You can’t get happy on the farm.’ I think we have had a good start. A lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity, we have faced and overcome. I don’t see anything different here. It is not going to be how it was the past few games, all season. It is going to be a long season. There is going to be a lot of highs and lows. How we stick together through that will determine our team’s success”
The Suns will look to bounce back as they continue their six-game homestand on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.