Booker, Chriss lead Suns past short-handed Heat, 99-90


PHOENIX (AP) Devin Booker scored 27 points – 18 in the second half – and rookie Marquese Chriss added a career-best 18 as the Phoenix Suns handed the severely short-handed Miami Heat their sixth consecutive loss, 99-90 on Tuesday night.

The Suns snapped a 12-game losing streak against Miami. Phoenix hadn’t beaten the Heat since Nov. 3, 2009.

Goran Dragic scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half for the Heat, who had just eight available players in the opener of a six-game road trip.

Willie Reed had 22 points and 18 rebounds, both career highs, for Miami.

Eric Bledsoe added 17 points for the Suns, who stretched a four-point halftime lead to 19 in the second half.

The Heat led by nine early and were up 42-37 on Dragic’s inside basket with 8:34 left in the first half, but Bledsoe and Chriss sank consecutive 3s in a 9-0 spurt that put Phoenix up 46-42 when Booker made one of two free throws 3:13 before the break.

Dragic cut the lead to 54-52 with a left-handed driving layup with 9.3 seconds left before Bledsoe’s two free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining put the Suns up 56-52 at the break.

The Suns opened the second half with an 11-3 run and were up 79-62 when Booker sank a 28-foot 3-pointer with 1:59 left in the third quarter. Phoenix led 83-66 entering the fourth.

Wayne Ellington‘s 3 cut the Suns’ lead to 85-74 with 8:13 to play, but Booker sank a 3-pointer with 6:36 to go to boost the lead back to 14. Miami cut the lead to eight in the final two minutes but got no closer.


The list of missing Miami players was long: James Johnson (food poisoning), Tyler Johnson (migraine), Dion Waiters (pectineus tear), Hassan Whiteside (right retinal contusion), Justise Winslow (right shoulder), Josh McRoberts (left foot stress fracture). That doesn’t include Chris Bosh, who has not played all season.


Heat: Miami last lost to the Suns in Phoenix on Jan. 5, 2007. … Heat players not named Dragic were 13-of-34 shooting in the first half. … Reed’s previous career highs were 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Suns: G Brandon Knight was out with a sprained right wrist. … Phoenix is 8-4 against Eastern Conference foes, 7-2 at home. … Phoenix improved to 3-4 on the second night of back-to-back games.


Heat: Miami plays at Sacramento on Wednesday night in the second stop of a six-game road trip.

Suns: Phoenix travels to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Thursday night.