Suns torch Heat by 20 points

Deandre Ayton finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds to propel the host Phoenix Suns to a 106-86 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, April 13 (Wednesday, April 14, Manila time).

The Suns won their third in a row and swept the season series from the Heat for the first time since the 2006-2007 season. Phoenix has won 10 of its past 11 and is 31-7 since January 28.

Ayton, who shot 8-for-10 from the field, was one of six Suns who scored in double figures. Four of those were reserves as Phoenix's bench outscored Miami's second unit, 65-24.

Cameron Johnson finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds and Cameron Payne had 14 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds for the Suns. Torrey Craig had 14 points and 6 rebounds while Dario Saric had 13 points and 5 boards.

Phoenix prevailed despite a poor shooting night from Devin Booker, who finished with 12 points but shot 4-for-16 from the field. 

Chris Paul shot just 2-of-7 from the field but totaled 9 assists. Paul's 3 steals gave him 2,311 for his career, surpassing Maurice Cheeks for fifth all-time on the NBA's career steals list.

Jimmy Butler led Miami with 18 points and 8 assists, but the Heat struggled from long distance against Phoenix's defense. Miami shot 9-for-44 from three-point range (20.5%).

Duncan Robinson was the lone bright spot in that department, finishing with 15 points and making 4-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Miami started the game outscoring Phoenix 22-11, led by 9 early points from Robinson. The Heat led by eight after one.

The Suns answered by outscoring the Heat 57-38 over the second and third quarters.

Bam Adebayo totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds but took only six shots. Goran Dragic had 12 points while Tyler Herro and Trevor Ariza each had 10 points.

Butler fell to the court grabbing his right ankle with 11:40 left in the fourth quarter but returned with 7:52 remaining and played up until the 3:19 mark with Phoenix comfortably ahead, 99-83. –