Wade guides Heat past Suns

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

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 all­time 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.

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