Skip to content

Heat grind out a win against pesky Suns

Feb 11, 2014, 11:57 PM EDT

LeBron James AP

Kevin Durant may very well win the MVP this season, due to a combination of the incredible individual performances he’s strung together along with the voter fatigue that surrounds LeBron James.

But it won’t be because James has slipped, even in the slightest.

Tuesday night in Phoenix, LeBron put together a performance that reminded us just how good he can be, leading the Heat to a 103-97 win over a pesky Suns team that wouldn’t go away until the final buzzer had sounded.

Miami was without Dwyane Wade in this one, who was forced to miss this game due to a migraine headache that crept up in the afternoon. That just meant that James had to shoulder more of the load, which he seemed more than happy to do. He finished the first half with eight shot attempts, but seven of those came in the paint on attacking moves to the basket, or on runouts in transition.

LeBron finished with 37 points, nine rebounds, three assists and five steals. The steals were critical, because most if not all of them led to fast break opportunities that demoralized the opposition. He scored 25 of those points in the second half, and closed the game with a brilliant 14-point fourth quarter on just seven shots.

The Suns finished the game with 16 turnovers, which isn’t a number that’s insurmountable. Against the Heat, however, when almost all of them are of the live ball variety that lead to monster dunks in transition, it can become a bit tiresome.

Goran Dragic has played at an All-Star level this season, but had an off night against the defending champs. Dragic finished with 15 points, nine assists and four steals, but shot just 4-of-12 from the field.

The Suns were on the verge of being blown out of their own building in the third quarter, after leading by as many as 12 early on. Miami put together an 11-0 run that featured a three-pointer from Chris Bosh, and was ended with back-to-back dunks from James. Gerald Green scored eight straight Suns points to bring his team back from the edge, and things were tight the rest of the way.

Green led the Suns with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and consistently got buckets when his team needed them the most.

But while the Suns need to get a nearly flawless performance to beat one of the league’s elite, the Heat, even without Wade, only need the MVP version of LeBron to show up in order to close the other team out.

Latest Posts
  1. Kyrie Irving, Goran Dragic threw some wicked moves at each other (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:25 AM EDT

    Puerto Rico v United States Getty Images

    The point guards made this blowout more fun to watch.

  2. Bucks sign No. 31 pick Damien Inglis

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Getty Images

    Milwaukee’s trade with Clippers cleared a roster spot

  3. Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ agent denies comeback attempt

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    Former Cavaliers center, 39, has been retired three years

  4. Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:23 PM EDT

    Hasheem Thabeet, Maalik Wayns Hasheem Thabeet, Maalik Wayns

    Oklahoma City will create trade exception, and Philadelphia will waive Thabeet

  5. From late-arriving to a LeBron James favorite, Kevin Love comes full circle

    Aug 26, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Olympics Day 16 - Basketball Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

    Kevin Love: ‘My decision’ swayed by LeBron James calling just after choosing Cavaliers in free agency

  6. New NBA rule clears more space on baseline

    Aug 26, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    Russell Westbrook Russell Westbrook

    Number of camera positions behind baseline to be halved

  7. Clippers trade Jared Dudley and first rounder to Bucks for Carlos Delfino and Miroslav Raduljica

    Aug 26, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

    Jared Dudley Jared Dudley

    Clippers limit their present and future, and the Bucks gain an easy asset

  8. Report: Cavaliers trying to trade for Nuggets’ Timofey Mozgov

    Aug 26, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets - Game Two Getty Images

    Cleveland not offering assets as of yet, so Denver’s not biting.

  9. J.R. Smith: ‘I’m on pace to be one of the best shooters the game had ever seen’

    Aug 26, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

    Charlotte Bobcats v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Career three-pointers made is the only category where this statement begins to make any sense.

  10. Agent for Thanasis Antetokounmpo ‘amazed’ his client chose to play in D-League for $25K

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT

    thanasis nba draft

    Brother of the Bucks’ Giannis turned down a more lucrative offer to play overseas.

  11. Dwyane Wade needs to get as good at free throws as soon-to-be wife (Instagram)

    Aug 26, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwm5zddmy2m4zde4mmi1ogi5mjk4odbjnzeyzgu3m2u4 AP

    Well, she looks better shooting free throws than he does anyway.

  12. Report: Turner Broadcasting planning layoffs in advance of rising NBA rights fees

    Aug 26, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five

    Turner wants to keep its NBA rights, and with negotiations looming, the company has planned layoffs in order to have the necessary cash on hand.

  13. Kevin Murphy highlights four Jazz signings

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz

    Utah also adds Dee Bost, Jack Cooley and Brock Motum

  14. Minnesota, Cleveland aquariums trade Kevin Love. The octopus name.

    Aug 26, 2014, 9:50 AM EDT

    Kevin Love Releases Baby Octopus Getty Images

    The octopus wanted to opt out of Minnesota, too, but has fewer free agent options.

Featured video

Will LeBron get booed Christmas Day in Miami?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (3606)
  2. K. Love (3603)
  3. T. Young (2620)
  4. L. James (2514)
  5. K. Bryant (2488)
  1. K. Irving (2416)
  2. E. Bledsoe (2024)
  3. G. Hayward (1981)
  4. A. Davis (1850)
  5. R. Allen (1765)