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Suns at Heat preview and prediction: Two teams trying to work through slumps

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns (26-20, 6th in Western Conference) play their fourth matchup of a seven-game road trip tonight against the Miami Heat (24-22, 7th in Eastern Conference) in the teams’ second meeting this season. In the last matchup between these teams on Jan. 5, the Suns crushed the Heat 113-97 behind 31 points and nine 3-pointers from Grayson Allen.

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This will be Phoenix’s second game of a back to back, and the Suns have a lot of fixing to do after falling 113-98 to the Orlando Magic last night. They now have lost two straight and have had problems in almost every area besides being efficient scoring the basketball. The Heat have lost six in a row, last falling 125-109 to the New York Knicks on Saturday. Miami has a lot of issues of its own it will look to correct tonight.

Jusuf Nurkić (left thumb sprain) will return tonight for the Suns after a one-game absence. Bradley Beal (nasal fracture) is also available and will have a new, fitted mask.

The Heat are completely healthy.

Local Game Information

Start Time: 5:30 p.m. MST

Location: Kaseya Center

TV Channel: 3TV/AZ Family

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, La Mejor 106.5 FM

Stream: Suns Live (click for more info)

Betting Odds

Line: MIA -3.5

O/U: 229.5

Injury Report

Phoenix Suns: Bradley Beal (nasal fracture) AVAILABLE | Jusuf Nurkić (left thumb sprain) AVAILABLE | Bol Bol (right foot sprain) OUT | Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery) OUT

Miami Heat: Dru Smith (right knee surgery) OUT

Starters

Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen, Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkić

Miami HeatTerry Rozier, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Haywood Highsmith, Bam Adebayo

Five Keys to Game for Suns

  1. Sustaining leads
  2. Getting into rhythm outside Devin Booker
  3. Use similar gameplan as last win over Heat
  4. Limiting turnovers
  5. Not allowing points in the paint

Prediction

Suns 115 – Heat 109

The Suns are a completely different team with Jusuf Nurkić on the floor and should do just fine with him healthy against a struggling Heat team. Phoenix has a ton of its own problems to work out, so we will see if even on a second night of a back to back, they can play a much better brand of basketball. I predict the Suns win this game because they use a much more balanced offensive attack outside of Devin Booker and find the defensive pressure/gameplan that worked so well for them during their seven-game win streak.

Flashback: Last Meeting (Jan. 5, 2024)

Phoenix Suns defeat Miami Heat 113-97

Team Matchup Notes

Here are some stats, notes and everything else to know about the Suns and Heat before their second matchup of the season (via Suns):

Each team’s stats (via Suns):

Preview: Team injury reports

Jusuf Nurkić available tonight against Heat

Preview: Devin Booker’s historic scoring run

Devin Booker Lights Up the Scoreboard with a Historic Shooting Run

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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