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Phoenix Suns Vs Miami Heat: Game Four Preview

The Heat welcome the Phoenix Suns to South Beach.

Christian Petersen

The Miami Heat will be hosting the Phoenix Suns at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami tonight. It's the first of two meetings this season between the two clubs, and the only time they will match up in South Beach. They play each other in Phoenix two weeks from tonight. The Heat are coming off a thrilling back-and-forth 119-116 victory at home over the Denver Nuggets. Afterward, the Heat will close out their three game homestand on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets. The Suns, after losing last night to the Orlando Magic, 115-94, will close out their three game roadtrip in Charlotte against the Bobcats on Wednesday.

The two teams last met on March 20th, as the 23-22 Suns dropped a four point decision to the 33-11 Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena. Partial recap courtesy of NBA.COM:

The Miami Heat defeated the Phoenix Suns 99-95 Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Forward Chris Bosh turned in his second straight solid game, scoring 29 points and grabbing eight rebounds. But it was the Heat's defense that got them back into the game. They trailed most of the second half before making a run midway through the fourth quarter.

Down by 10, they went on a 17-0 run to regain the lead. Forward LeBron James added 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists while guard Dwyane Wade finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. The Heat improved to 7-4 since the All-Star Break.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Suns, who committed 20 turnovers. Phoenix was led by Grant Hill's 19 points, but center Marcin Gortat was a non-factor. He finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Full Recap

Box Score

NBA CIRCLE - Phoenix Suns Vs Miami Heat Highlights March 20, 2012 (via NEWNBACIRCLE)

After the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra broke down the game in a few words:

"To start the game, it was not our best. To finish the game, it was more our style. It was more aggressive in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter.":

Miami beat the Denver Nuggets by three in their matchup on Sunday at the AAA. Partial recap courtesy of NBA.COM:

Allen got a pass from LeBron James and converted a four-point play with 6.7 seconds left that put Miami ahead for good, and Chris Bosh scored 40 points to help the Heat hold off the Denver Nuggets 119-116 on Saturday night.

"LeBron found me," Allen said after just his third game with the Heat. "It was curtains."

The league's reigning MVP and its career leader in 3-point shooting combined to put Corey Brewer in a bad spot on Miami's last possession of the night.

Trailing by a point with 14.1 seconds left, the Heat called time out and designed a play where James would have the ball and the option to either drive or pass. He had just scored by driving the left side of the lane moments earlier, and started his move on the deciding possession by going in that same direction.

Full Recap

Box Score

NBA CIRCLE - Denver Nuggets Vs Miami Heat Highlights 3 November 2012 (via NEWNBACIRCLE)

Spoelstra had a few words about new acquisition Ray Allen, and how it feels to count on the NBA's all-time leader in three-point shots.

"We have been on the other end of that pain when he puts the dagger to your heart with the three. He has a found a way to fit in and mesh with a team that has already had a lot of success."

The Suns led the Orlando Magic by as many as 14 points midway through the third quarter before going cold. Partial recap from NBA.COM:

The Orlando Magic exploded with 40 points in the third quarter and came back to beat the Phoenix Suns, 115-94, for their second straight win.

J.J. Redick scored 24 points -- none of them in the big third quarter -- and Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo added 22 each for Orlando, which played without injured starters Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu. Center Nikola Vucevic contributed 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Luis Scola led Phoenix with 24 points and Michael Beasley scored 22, but the Suns went cold after building a 14-point lead early in the third quarter.

Full Recap

Box Score

NBA CIRCLE - Phoenix Suns Vs Orlando Magic Highlights 4 November 2012 (via NEWNBACIRCLE)

Suns forward Luis Scola put the game into words for the press afterward:

"We played really well in the first half and then we went through the motions and started exchanging baskets. We let them get it going."

The Heat is 16-31 all-time against the Suns. To reach .500 all-time in the series, Miami will have to win every matchup between the two through their first meeting in the 2019-20 season.

Game Time: 7:30 PM ET

Current Odds: Miami by -13 1/2

Season Series: 0-0


Miami Heat: 2-1, second in the Southeast Division, tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference, tied for fifth in the NBA. Current odds of making the postseason: 56.2%

Phoenix Suns: 1-2, third in the Pacific Division, tied for 11th in the Western Conference, tied for 20th in the NBA. Current odds of making the postseason: 51.8%

Probable Starters:

Miami Heat:
PG - Mario Chalmers
SG - Dwyane Wade
SF - Shane Battier
PF - LeBron James
CF - Chris Bosh

Phoenix Suns:
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Jared Dudley
SF - Michael Beasley
PF - Luis Scola
C - Marcin Gortat

Team Leaders: (After three games)

Chris Bosh, 23.7
LeBron James, 23.0
Dwyane Wade, 19.3

Chris Bosh, 9.3
LeBron James, 8.7
Rashard Lewis, Dwyane Wade, 3.7

LeBron James, 6.3
Mario Chalmers, 5.7
Dwyane Wade, 4.0

Mario Chalmers, 2.0
Dwyane Wade, 1.3
Shane Battier, 1.0

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, 1.7
Chris Bosh, 1.3

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.