Butler shines early, Dragic late as Heat push past Suns, 124-108

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

PHOENIX -- Jimmy Butler was looking for a friend. He found it in Goran Dragic.

Playing on an island of excellence with little support in the first half, Butler and the Miami Heat got a needed boost from Dragic in the second half of Thursday night's 124-108 victory over the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Even with Butler scoring 30 points in the first half, the Heat found themselves unable to pull away from the equally scrappy Suns.

Enter The Dragon.

With Dragic scoring 10 of his 25 points in the third quarter, Butler was able to come up for air on what turned into a 34-point night.

With just five points at the intermission against his former team, Dragic converted a four-point play midway through the third quarter and then closed the period with a buzzer-beating 30-pointer, one that had him gesturing with both finger pistols and a tongue wag.

For the Heat, it was a needed turnaround from Tuesday's 109-89 loss to the Denver Nuggets at the start of this three-game trip that concludes Friday night against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.


At 6-2, the Heat are off to their best eight-game start since opening with the same record in 2012-13, when the went on to win the franchise's third NBA championship.

Aron Baynes led the Suns with 23 points.

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