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Heat lack needed legs, fall to Suns, 113-97, to close 2-3 trip

PHOENIX — What does the last leg of a five-game, 10-day trip look like? Like the Miami Heat’s legs during Friday night’s 113-97 loss to the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center.

Already lacking legs in their rotation, with Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith again sidelined, the Heat melted in the second half against a Suns roster lacking sidelined Kevin Durant.

With the exception of the contributions of big men Bam Adebayo and Kevin Love there was precious little for Erik Spoelstra’s team, which closed the trip 2-3 and returns home 20-15.

Adebayo closed with 28 points and 11 rebounds, with Love scoring 20.

But against the wing-driven offense of the Suns, the Heat were unable to compete on the perimeter.

Grayson Allen led the Suns with 31 points, shooting 9 of 14 on 3-pointers. The nine 3-pointers were a career high and tied the Suns record. Phoenix also got 25 points, nine assists and eight rebounds from Bradley Beal and 20 points from Devin Booker.

But from the Heat, there were just nine points on 4-of-17 shooting from Tyler Herro.

Five Degrees of Heat from Friday night’s game:

— 1. Game flow: The Suns led 33-29 at the end of the opening period and 62-55 at halftime, ending the first half on an 8-0 run.

The Suns continued their roll from there, with an 11–0 run in the third period pushing their lead to 18.

From there, the Suns went into the fourth up 94-75.

The Heat closed within 13 with 4:46 to play on a Duncan Robinson 3-pointer, with the Suns quickly reestablishing control and pushing their lead into the 20s.

— 2. One more time: With Butler (toe), Martin (ankle) and Highsmith (concussion) again out for the Heat, second-year forward Nikola Jovic made his second consecutive start, his fourth of the season.

The Heat opened with the same lineup as in Wednesday night’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, a first five rounded out by Adebayo, Herro, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Kyle Lowry.

The Heat entered 1-1 with that first five.

Jovic was scoreless until converting a 3-pointer early in the third period, later removed in favor of Jamal Cain, with those Jovic’s only points.

— 3. Big start: Adebayo was forced to exit with his second foul with 5:45 left in the opening period. He opened 0 for 5 from the field, with the Suns playing off him on his jumper.

He was replaced by Love, who promptly scored 15 points in his first five minutes on 5-of-5 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Adebayo then returned to make his next four shots, as part of his 15-point second period.

Love had 16 points at the intermission, Love 16.

Adebayo closed with his sixth double-double in his last seven games.

— 4. The Allen element: Allen was up to 23 points by halftime, one point shy of his career high for half, at 7 of 10 on 3-pointers through the two periods.

Allen and the Suns essentially were making the shots against the Heat zone that the Lakers missed when they went 4 of 30 on 3-pointers against the Heat on Wednesday night.

Allen was acquired by the Suns from the Bucks in the offseason as part of the trade math that allowed Milwaukee to acquire Damian Lillard from the Trail Blazers.

— 5. Next up: The Heat next return for a four-game homestand, playing at Kaseya Center every other night, starting Monday against the Houston Rockets and continuing against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets.