NBA Game Summary - Miami at Phoenix
(Thursday, December 23rd)
Final Score: Miami 95, Phoenix 83
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - LeBron James scored 36 points and the short- handed Miami Heat topped Phoenix, 95-83, at US Airways Center.
Chris Bosh added 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat, who won for the 13th time in 14 games despite playing Thursday night without Dwyane Wade. The star guard was out with a sore left knee, and his status is in question looking ahead to the Christmas Day blockbuster matchup against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers each provided 11 points for the Heat, who had their 12-game winning streak snapped Monday at home against Dallas.
Jared Dudley had a career-high 33 points, going 7-of-10 from beyond the arc, to go with a season-best 12 rebounds for the Suns, who lost for the sixth time in eight contests.
Steve Nash dished out 18 assists for the Suns, who played again without Vince Carter (knee).
"We were trying to take the ball out of his hands -- but that's easier said than done," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said of Nash. "He has such a high IQ and his skill level is incredible."
James started the third quarter by sinking a three-pointer for a 48-39 Miami lead. The Suns didn't get closer than seven the remainder of the period. Bosh's three-point play in the closing 2 1/2 minutes moved the lead to 12, and Mike Miller drained a foul shot for a 72-59 difference heading to the fourth.
Despite shooting 4-of-7 from three-point range in the last quarter, Phoenix couldn't trim the deficit under nine. Dudley had 13 points in the final period, but Nash never got going offensively and had just four points for the second time in his last four games.
"We just didn't find a way to make baskets and execute where we could keep the game close enough that it was going to matter (in) the last three minutes," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said.
James kept the Suns at bay by scoring 13 points in the last quarter, making all six of his foul shots.
Dudley's three-ball capped a 7-0 flurry for the Suns, moving the hosts to a 21-10 lead with 4:09 left in the opening quarter. But by period's end the difference was three, as James' layup made it 22-19.
A three-pointer by James Jones moved the Heat to a 30-26 advantage, and with nearly four minutes left in the half James stole the ball and drove in for a slam and a 38-29 margin.
This was Miami's fourth straight win in Phoenix...The Heat swept the season series, also posting a 123-96 triumph on November 17...This was Miami's eighth straight road win...Spoelstra has accumulated 112 career wins and is now tied with former Miami coach Stan Van Gundy for third place on the franchise's all- time wins list.
12/24 02:37:45 ET