HEAT 126 - Suns 115 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Barry Gossage
by Joe Beguiristain

The Miami HEAT defeated the Phoenix Suns 126-115 Wednesday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Goran Dragić led the way for the HEAT with 29 points.

1. Whiteside Strong In The Fourth

After a tough outing against the Warriors, Hassan Whiteside bounced back in a big way versus the Suns. While he got off to quick start, his performance on both ends in the fourth quarter was vital in the win.

For starters, just take a look at these alley-oop jams:

On the first one from James Johnson, Whiteside did a great job of faking out Alex Len by making it look like he was going to set a screen. Then on the second jam, Justise Winslow dished out a fantastic pass (more on him later).

Getting back to Whiteside, the 7-footer also made his presence felt on the defensive end, with no sequence more impressive than when he swatted Devin Booker and T.J. Warren on the same possession late in the fourth quarter:

Oh, and this two-handed engulfing of Mike James’ layup attempt earlier in the game was absolutely fantastic:

Long story short, Whiteside did it all. The 28-year-old finished with 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

2. Season Highs Across The Board For Dragić

When Dragić has it all going on, there’s very little the opposition can do. That must have been how Phoenix felt on Wednesday, as the Dragon did a little bit of everything. In fact, Dragić tallied a season-high in scoring thanks to mixing things up with transition finishes, step-back baseline jumpers and aggressive drives in the halfcourt like this:

In addition to his season-high 29 points, the 31-year-old also tallied a season-high nine rebounds to go along with four assists.

3. Winslow Does It All

In his first start at power forward this season, Winslow kicked off Miami’s scoring with a nice attack to the basket and never looked back. Throughout the contest, he did his usual damage at the rim, but he also knocked down two catch-and-shoot treys.

His most impressive play of the night (outside of his aforementioned lob to Whiteside) was this nifty euro-step and finish in the fourth quarter:

On the flip side of the ball, Winslow was versatile as always and did a great job of defending both Booker and Marquese Chriss among others.

When it was all said and done, the former Duke Blue Devil totaled 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, six rebounds, five assists and a plus-eight rating.

Other Takeaways:

-Dion Waiters helped ice the game with five-straight points to put the HEAT up 117-106 with 1:33 remaining. Waiters finished with 16 points and three assists.

Game Note:

-Tyler Johnson (illness), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery), A.J. Hammons (Sioux Falls assignment) and Matt Williams Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will now head to Utah to face the Jazz on Friday at 9:00 PM. Miami won’t be back in action at the AmericanAirlines Arena until Nov. 15 against the Washington Wizards. Tickets for that game can be found here.

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