The Miami Heat stumbled to a 119-112 loss to the bubble-perfect Phoenix Suns on Saturday night with a sorely depleted roster following their loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
Rookie Tyler Herro started this one for Miami, playing the point with both Kendrick Nunn (personal) and Goran Dragic (ankle) sitting out. Jimmy Butler also missed his third straight game with a sore foot.
Herro and Duncan Robinson led the Heat in scoring, both putting up 25 points as the former recorded his first NBA double-double, assisting 10 buckets. The 50 points scored between the rookies weren’t enough, however.
Devin Booker’s 35 proved important for the Suns, who have won five straight games in the bubble and are now considered a huge threat in a play-in situation given their red-hot form. Jevon Carter also had a huge game on the night, logging in a season-high 20 points.
The Heat, meanwhile, share the same record with the Indiana Pacers on the back of another stellar night from TJ Warren, who led his team to a big win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The two teams meet twice next week and will square off on Monday and Friday as the fight for that fourth spot in the Eastern Conference intensifies.
The Phoenix Suns will hope to keep the streak going with three games left to play, the first coming against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday followed by fixtures against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks.