DEVIN Booker returned from a four-game COVID-protocol absence and had a near triple-double, helping the Phoenix Suns clinch the NBA’s first playoff spot with a 111-90 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Booker finished with 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, while Phoenix also got 21 points from Mikal Bridges and 19 points and 10 rebounds from Deandre Ayton. JaVale McGee added 11 points and a season-high 15 rebounds off the bench.
As a team, the Suns outrebounded Miami 55-38, including 14-6 on offense. The game was a matchup between the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference (Miami) and the squad that leads the Western Conference (Phoenix).
However, both teams were missing star players. The Suns continue to be without point guard Chris Paul (fractured right thumb). The Heat had a new injury of sorts as Jimmy Butler was out due to a sinus congestion.
Miami, which has won 12 of its past 15 contests, was led by Duncan Robinson (22 points), Tyler Herro (17 points) and Bam Adebayo (17 points). Kyle Lowry added five points and a game-high 10 assists. — Reuters