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NBA – Suns become first team to qualify for Playoffs | Playon99 News

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Phoenix Suns beat Miami Heat away and became the first team to qualify for the NBA Playoffs. Without Paul, but with Booker and Bridges, the West leaders beat the East leaders with class and simplicity.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Phoenix Suns achieved a great victory 111-90 at Miami Heat’s home court, in a clash between the Western and Eastern Conference leaders, to become the first team to qualify for the NBA Playoffs.

Devin Booker, back after a four-game layoff, was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds, but it was the entire team that worked to win.

Phoenix Suns, still without injured star Chris Paul, got Booker back after his forced absence due to NBA health protocol and it didn’t take long for him to regain prominence, with a complete performance, supported by Mikal Bridges’ 21 points and 9 assists and Deandre Ayton’s double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Mounty Williams’ team confirmed itself as the best visiting team in the NBA (25-6), against the Eastern Conference leaders – who were without Jimmy Butler – and reinforced their lead in the Western Conference with a 53-13 balance.

Phoenix Suns are an impeccable 22-0 when conceding less than 100 points and knocked down a Miami Heat that came into this game in great shape, having won 12 of their last 14 games.

For Miami, Duncan Robinson was outstanding with 23 points and 6-of-11 three-pointers, while Tyler Herro contributed 17 points, as did Bam Adebayo (17+6+5), and Kyle Lowry was outstanding with 10 assists but 5 points.

Despite the loss, Spoelstra’s team still leads the East (44-23), but now has only a one-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers of the star duo of Joel Embiid and James Harden.

Miami Heat paid for their low percentages in the game with a modest 7-of-24 shooting – to the Phoenix Suns’ 14-of-27 – and ended up scoring just 25 points in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Heat and Suns had started evenly matched with 27-29 and 55-57 scores for the first and second quarters, respectively, but after the break there was a difference.

Phoenix Suns did not take their foot off the gas at any time and did not take a break on the court. With a varied and dynamic basketball, they escaped to a 17-point lead -Bridges and Booker, key- to end the third quarter with a score of 74-91.

It was a blow from which Miami Heat did not manage to get up and the Suns ended up getting a 9-0 partial at the beginning of the fourth period and increased their lead to 26 points with a three-pointer by Jae Crowder.

The Heat finished the second half with only 35 points and surrendered to the Phoenix Suns, who strengthened their bid to fight until the end for the NBA title after reaching the grand finale last year and losing to the Milwaukee Bucks.

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