Ailing James, Heat end long trip by beating Suns
Posted at: 11/18/2012 12:35 AM
By BOB BAUM
(AP) PHOENIX - Chris Bosh scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting, ailing LeBron James added 21 and the Miami Heat closed a six-game road trip with a 97-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
The Heat, playing without Dwyane Wade for the second game in a row because of a left foot injury, led by as many as 15 in the third quarter and were up by nine with 5 1/2 minutes to play. The Suns cut it to two before Miami scored the game’s final seven points.
James, who missed the morning shootaround with flu-like symptoms, made only 8 of 20 shots but still reached 20 points for the 11th time in 11 games this season.
Markieff Morris scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Phoenix, which was coming off a loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday night. Shannon Brown and Michael Beasley had 14 points apiece.
James may have been under the weather, but he had enough energy to lead the final surge that lifted Miami to its fifth straight win in Phoenix.
Morris’ tip-in with 8:39 to go tied it at 79, but Ray Allen banked in an 8-footer, Brown was called for an offensive foul, and Mario Chalmers stole the ball from Sebastian Telfair, leading to James’ fast-break layup. The Heat were off on a 9-0 run, capped by James’ reverse dunk with 5 1/2 minutes to go.
Phoenix then rallied again. Telfair sank a 3-pointer, then Goran Dragic knocked the ball loose and gathered it in for a layup to cut it to 90-88 with 2:11 remaining. Phoenix had a chance to tie but Beasley missed an open 14-footer.
Bosh made a pair of free throws, James hit a driving layup, then Miami made three of four free throws in the final 30 seconds to finally put it away and finish the trip 4-2.
James had a dunk on a lob pass from Mike Miller and sank a 3-pointer in a 19-4 outburst that broke a 56-56 tie and put the Heat up 75-60 after Norris Cole’s steal and layup with 2:52 left in the third quarter. But James went to the bench and the Suns’ reserves brought Phoenix back with an 11-0 run to end the quarter, reducing Miami’s lead to four entering the fourth.
Morris scored the first six points of the run. Miami committed two turnovers in the final minute of the quarter, leading to Brown and Telfair each sinking a pair of free throws.
Bosh had 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half. Michael Beasley had 12 points and five first-half rebounds for Phoenix.
NOTES: Dragic had eight points, four assists, three steals and no turnovers in the first quarter. ... The Heat have one more six-game road trip, Jan. 1-17, a journey that concludes with a game against the Lakers in Los Angeles. ... This was Miami’s first trip to Phoenix in two seasons. The teams played only once, in Miami, in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. ... Miami had 19 turnovers, compared to 17 for Phoenix.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)