21st March 2012, 03:50 AM
Heat score 17 straight late, rally past Suns 99-95 (Yahoo! Sports)
MIAMI (AP)—Chris Bosh scored 29 points, LeBron James survived two scary falls and the Miami Heat used a 17-0 fourth-quarter run to erase a 10-point deficit and beat the Phoenix Suns 99-95 on Tuesday night for their 14th straight home victory.
James finished with 20 points, Dwyane Wade had 19, and Udonis Haslem added a season-high 15 for the Heat, who survived two huge late scares—a double-digit hole, and a frightening collision between James and Grant Hill in the final minute.
James was chasing a long pass and never saw Hill, crashing into him. James went down, failing on his first attempt to get up and stayed on the court holding his head for about a minute. He remained in the game after a timeout.
Hill led Phoenix with 19 points. Marcin Gortat had 13, Markieff Morris 12, Jared Dudley 10 and Steve Nash finished with nine points and 10 assists.
The Suns had the NBA’s second-best record since Feb. 19, having won 11 of their last 14 coming in. Shannon Brown’s 3-pointer with 7:29 left put Phoenix up 90-80, but the Suns missed their next 10 shots.
James, Wade and Haslem all made a pair of free throws to start Miami’s late run, and the Heat tied it when Mario Chalmers stole the ball from Nash and set up Wade for a breakaway dunk.
Bosh made two more foul shots to put the Heat up for good, Wade made a layup while sprawling to the floor and stretched the lead to 95-90 after Suns coach Alvin Gentry was called for a technical, and James’ jumper with 1:52 left capped the flurry. Miami made 13 of 16 free throws in the final quarter, while Phoenix was only 3 for 4.
The Suns missed four straight shots at the rim in one stretch, all in a span of 34 seconds, and the Heat started to roll.
James had another hard fall in the early going, hitting the floor hard and coming up wincing. On a drive into the lane, James was hit by Morris and reached back with his right arm to brace himself for the fall. James appeared to hit his right elbow directly on the floor—he was wearing a pad on that one, though not the left—and stepped away from the foul line briefly while shaking the arm.
He remained in the game and did not get any noticable treatment during the next timeout.
The Heat had another injury woe to deal with as well, with starting center Joel Anthony out of the lineup for the first time this season because of a sprained ankle. Dexter Pittman made his first career start in Anthony’s place.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spent the better part of two days raving about the Suns’ play of late, especially Nash. A sampling of the terms Spoelstra used to describe the Phoenix point guard: “maestro,” “timeless quarterback,” “relentless” and “tireless.”
All were on display throughout.
Down by nine in the early going, Phoenix closed the first half on a 13-3 run, a spurt Nash started with a 3-pointer and one that sent the Suns in the locker room up 53-49—even though Miami shot 58 percent in the first half.
Phoenix led by eight in the third quarter, holding Miami to 35 percent shooting.
Notes: Heat President Pat Riley celebrated his 67th birthday. … Celebrity night: Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer was in the season-high crowd of 20,212, as were the tennis-golf power couple of Caroline Wozniacki (snapping a few photos with her phone) and Rory McIlroy, Miami Marlins standouts Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Johnson, NFL star Andre Johnson and comedian Jerry Seinfeld. … Phoenix started a stretch where it will play 12 of 15 on the road, with three one-game “homestands” breaking up the various trips. … Wade did not take a shot in the first quarter, only the ninth time in 583 regular-season games that happened. … Nash shot 2 for 3 in the first quarter, raising his NBA-best percentage in the opening 12 minutes of games this season to 60.8.
Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2012032014]Yahoo Sports[/url]
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