(The Sports Xchange) - After establishing an early double-digit lead Thursday, the Miami Heat never relinquished the advantage.
Dwyane Wade scored 27 points to lead the Heat to a 108-92 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Goran Dragic finished with 25 points and Luol Deng scored 12 points for the Heat, who improved to 6-2 since the All-Star break.
“We’re playing unselfish basketball,” Wade said. “Any given night, anybody can be more aggressive than other guys, depending on matchups, depending on the night.”
Rookie Devin Booker scored a career-high 34 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, for the Suns, who have lost 15 of 16 overall and 17 straight on the road. The road losing streak matches Phoenix’s all-time record, set Jan. 4-March 13, 1974.
The Heat (35-26) were never threatened after extending a four-point lead late in the first quarter with a 20-5 run that ended midway through the second period. Wade’s jumper with 6:52 remaining in the second capped the surge and increased Miami’s lead to 45-26.
“What I liked about tonight is we came out early and took care of business,” Wade said. “That’s the NBA — a team is going to make runs. We did a good job of keeping them off.”
Wade’s short jumper gave the Heat their first 20-plus-point lead at 50-29.
Phoenix responded with a 14-3 run. Alex Len’s two free throws got the Suns within 53-43 before two free throws apiece from Wade and Amare Stoudemire gave Miami a 57-43 lead at halftime. Len finished with a double-double of 12 points and 13 points but was held scoreless in the second half.
“I thought it was a professional response and approach,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of his team’s performance. “Not getting ahead of ourselves but just trying to improve — take another step forward.”
The Heat converted nine of 17 3-point attempts and surpassed 100 points for the fifth consecutive home game.
“Earlier in the season, we let some games like this slip away,” Wade said. “We need to take care of business. This is the time of year where you have to win games that you are supposed to win.”
The Heat had their second 20-point lead, 75-55, on Stoudemire’s jumper with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter.
Archie Goodwin scored seven points in the first 4:55 of the fourth period as the Suns outscored the Heat 13-7. Goodwin’s layup cut Miami’s lead to 91-81.
“If you look at our youth and the way we are going, we bounce back, we are headed in the right direction,” Phoenix interim coach Earl Watson said.
Booker’s jump shot with 4:28 left again got the Suns within 98-88 before the Heat responded with five unanswered points, capped by Joe Johnson’s 3-pointer with 3:24 remaining for a 103-88 advantage.
“Last few games I haven’t been shooting the ball well,” said Booker, who made 11 of 21 field-goal attempts. “I knew it would come, so I just kept shooting. They starting falling, so I stayed aggressive and I had the opportunity so I took advantage of it.”
Wade and Dragic combined for 15 first-quarter points as the Heat built their early lead.