The Phoenix Suns hung on for a 91-89 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday to advance to the NBA Las Vegas Summer League championship game. The Suns will face the Golden State Warriors for the inaugural Summer League title in a game that tips off Monday at 6 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
Phoenix led by as many as 20 points in the second half before losing the lead late in the fourth quarter. With the score tied at 89 with 39 seconds to play, Markieff Morris found the hoop giving his Suns the deciding two points. The game ended dramatically, with the Heat having possession with 9.5 seconds to play. James Ennis lost the ball at the top of the key, resulting in a jump ball with the Suns’ P.J. Tucker. Miami won the tip, but D.J. Kennedy was forced to take a half-court shot as time expired that missed.
The Heat’s Eric Griffin led all scorers in the fourth quarter, finishing with 10 points in the frame to help Miami rally.
The Heat took a seven-point lead in the first quarter, but the Suns answered with seven of their own to knot things up at 11. Phoenix took the lead with 30 seconds to play on a Markieff Morris bucket before finishing the quarter with a 25-22 lead. Ennis had the hot hand for Miami in the first, scoring 11 of the team’s 22 points, including three from 3-point range.
It was all Suns in the second, as they outscored the Heat 10-2 in the opening three minutes of the period before extending their lead to as many as 16 points. It was a team effort for Phoenix, with all nine players who saw action scoring. As a team, they shot 56 percent in the first half, including 50 percent from deep. Miami, by contrast, connected on only five field goals in the second and was outscored 26-15 in the second frame. At the end of the half, the Suns owned a 51-37 advantage.
The Heat fell down by 20 points early in the second half, but they battled back, going on a 20-6 run in the quarter’s final five minutes to get back into the game. At the end of three, they trailed by only five at 68-63. James Nunnally led the comeback for the Heat, scoring 16 points in the third while hitting three 3-pointers. Miami held Phoenix to only 17 points in the third quarter.
Ennis led all scorers with 25 points for the game, while Nunnally finished with 24. The Suns had five players score in double figures, led by Tucker’s 19 points and Marcus Morris’ 17.