Chris Bosh, who had been struggling through the Miami Heat's first 10 games, went a long way towards regaining some mojo in scoring 35 points through the first three quarters of his team's steamrolling of the Phoenix Suns. Bosh sat out the entire fourth quarter after shooting 12-for-17 from the field and 11-for-11 from the free throw line, along with six rebounds and four assists.
The Suns had no answer for stopping Bosh, or any of Miami's big three. LeBron James had a typically well-rounded game, accruing 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and Dwyane Wade had 17/6/6. The offensive barrage started early, as Phoenix fell behind 6-0 and never really got back into it. They led briefly towards the end of the first quarter, but that was about it.
After their scorching-hot three-point shooting in Los Angeles, the Suns have had two straight games of ice cold work from distance. Against the Heat, they shot only 26% from behind the arc, missing 14 of their 19 attempts. On Monday against Denver, the Suns were able to overcome their shooting woes with grit, ball protection, and timely defense. Unfortunately, two of the Suns' usual problems showed up tonight: the team was outrebounded 42-32 and had 17 turnovers to Miami's 11.
Ball movement, in general, was a major issue. Steve Nash, known as a prolific assist-generator, had zero assists in the first half; it was his first such game as a Phoenix Sun. He ended the game, after 29 minutes of play, with only two assists and 11 shot attempts -- never a recipe for a Suns victory. Prior to the tip-off, Nash's status was unknown due to a strained groin -- and could have been a last-minute lineup scratch -- but ultimately decided to play. Perhaps it might have been better for him to sit, as he clearly wasn't himself, and now, after potentially agitating the injury further, he'll have to face the Orlando Magic on the second night of the East Coast back-to-back.
Goran Dragic ended the game with no assists, leaving forward Hedo Turkoglu as the team's assist leader, with four.
On the positive side, Channing Frye continued to shoot well, going 2-for-3 from three and 6-for-9 overall, with six rebounds in 26 minutes. Turkoglu appears more comfortable with every passing game, and had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in his limited minutes against Miami. Key reserve Jared Dudley continued to struggle from range. He's only shooting 27% from three for the season after leading the team in three-point percentage last season, making 46%.
The Suns face the Orlando Magic tomorrow at Amway Center.
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