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PREVIEW: Devin Booker and Phoenix Suns meet the Miami Heat

Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (left) against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (left) against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns, led by gifted scorer Devin Booker, will visit the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

Booker entered Monday 16th in the NBA in scoring with 25.2-point average. If that statistic holds, it will be the fourth straight year he has averaged more than 24 points per game.

That’s impressive stuff for Booker, 24.

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“Every time he shoots the ball, it looks the same. Every single time,” Suns point guard Chris Paul said of Booker. “When I throw a pass to him, boom.”

The Suns, who have won eight of their past 10 games, are in second place in the Western Conference while the Heat, who have lost three straight, are fifth in the East.

In Sunday’s 109-106 overtime loss to Indiana, Heat star Jimmy Butler missed a free throw with 12 seconds left in regulation that could’ve been the game-winner.

“We didn’t deserve to win,” Butler said. “We did so much bad throughout the game — it’s karma.”

The Heat, who acquired 35-year-old Trevor Ariza last week, might look to get more veterans before Thursday’s trade deadline. But they already have plenty of veterans to use against the Suns, including Andre Iguodala, 37, who came back from a hip injury and played Sunday against the Pacers.

Miami’s spiritual leader is Butler, 31, who tops the team in scoring (21.6 ppg), assists (7.5) and steals (2.0).

Bam Adebayo, one of Miami’s youngest stars at 23, is averaging 19.2 points, a team-high 9.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

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But the biggest factor for Miami lately hasn’t been experience. It’s been erratic 3-point shooting, which surfaced again on Sunday (9-for-37, 24.3 percent).

While Miami ranked 29th in the league in shooting from beyond the arc (34.3 percent) entering Monday, Phoenix was sixth at 38.4 percent.

–Field Level Media