Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat host the Phoenix Suns Tuesday. (Photo by Schuler/Imago/Icon Sportswire)
- The host Miami Heat are one-point favorites against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night
- Suns point guard Chris Paul is one of six players in NBA history with 10,000 assists
- A look at the Suns-Heat matchup can be found below with analysis and a prediction
Closing in on first place in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns visit the slumping Miami Heat at 8pm ET Tuesday at American Airlines Arena.
The Suns are 28-13 and just two games behind the conference-leading Utah Jazz after winning 17 of their last 21 games, including each of the last two.
Fifth in the Eastern Conference, the Heat has dropped to 22-21 following a three-game losing streak. Miami is a slight favorite despite its skid.
Suns vs Heat Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at FanDuel||Total|
|Phoenix Suns||-102||+1 (-110)||Over 218 (-110)|
|Miami Heat||-116||-1 (-110)||Under 218 (-110)|
Odds taken March 22
Memorable Night for Point God
Suns star Devin Booker calls teammate Chris Paul “The Point God.” Paul lived up to that lofty billing Sunday night in leading Phoenix to a 111-94 home victory over the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers, covering the 10-point spread.
Paul had his first triple-double of the season with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. The 35-year-old also became the sixth player in NBA history with 10,000 assists, joining John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson.
Chris Paul becomes the 6th player in NBA history with 10,000 CAREER ASSISTS! pic.twitter.com/pavbc9t6OY
— NBA (@NBA) March 22, 2021
The Lakers were playing without injured stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Booker just missed his second double-double this season, finishing with 26 points, nine rebounds and four assists. At 25.2 points a game, he is 16th in the NBA in scoring.
Deandre Ayton also did his part to help the Suns hold a 51-41 rebounding advantage. He had 26 points and eight boards, finishing one off his season high for scoring.
De’Andre Ayton (@DeandreAyton) is looking even more dominant in his 3rd season! His last 3 games he has been CRASHING the boards and very effective on the offensive end. He’s not surprised by his recent dominance, “This is the type of player I am” 😤#Suns #NBATwitter #NextOnes pic.twitter.com/9cOq1cUaoD
— Next Ones (@NXT1S) January 23, 2021
Jae Crowder added 11 points and Mikal Bridges chipped in with 10.
Cam Johnson returned after missing six games because of the league’s health and safety protocols. He had eight points in 15 minutes.
Heat Cool Off
The Heat’s skid comes after they won five in a row and 10 of their previous 11 games.
Sunday, Miami fell 109-106 in overtime to the Indiana Pacers as a 3.5-point favorite and was swept in the two-game series. Jimmy Butler missed a free throw with 12 seconds left in the regulation that could have won it for the Heat.
GAME CHANGER.@Original_Turner pic.twitter.com/SZu5Om8lPy
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) March 21, 2021
The Heat’s three-point shooting woes continued as they connected on just 9-of-37 from beyond the arc, a lowly 24.3% clip. During the losing streak, Miami is shooting 24.8% from distance.
The Pacers also hammered the Heat on the glass, holding a whopping 50-27 edge in rebounds.
Bam Adebayo was a bright spot for the Heat as he had 29 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Butler also had a double-double, winding up with 21 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.
It was the 22nd double-double of the season for Adebayo and 12th for Butler.
Bam doing whatever it takes 😤 pic.twitter.com/qtrSNH7Esl
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) March 21, 2021
Duncan Robinson scored 13 points. Tyler Herro had 11 but shot just 4-for-16 from the floor and missed all seven attempts from three-point range.
Goran Dragic sat out the game with lower back spasms and is questionable for Tuesday. Herro and Kendrick Nunn handled the bulk of the ballhandling duties in Dragic’s absence.
First Meeting This Season
The teams haven’t played since Aug. 8, with the Suns winning 119-112 at the Walt Disney World bubble.
Booker poured in 35 points and added six assists. Ayton had a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards as the Suns outrebounded the Heat 52-37. Jevon Carter added 20 points off the bench.
Herro and Robinson topped the Heat with 25 points each as Herro also had 10 assists. Adebayo tallied 18 points and nine assists.
Who’s Gonna Win?
The Suns have a definite edge in three-point shooting. They are sixth in the league at 38.3% while the struggling Heat in 29th with a 34.3% mark. Phoenix is also the better rebounding team.
It is an easy call to fade the Heat for the way they have been playing in recent days.
Pick: Suns +1 (-110)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.