Associated Press - Offensive numbers to savor were everywhere for the Miami Heat on Monday night. They thanked an upgraded defensive effort for that.
LeBron James had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 22 points and the Heat beat the Phoenix Suns 124-99 on Monday night. Chris Bosh finished with 18 points, Ray Allen had 15 and Mario Chalmers finished with his second 11-assist, one-turnover game of the young season for Miami (3-1), which is averaging 111.8 points in the early going.
Phoenix, even though the Suns were being handled on the glass and in the paint, was within nine early in the period after a basket by Gortat, and Scola connected on a drive with 6:34 left in the third to get the Suns within 75-65. That's where Miami decided enough was enough, with a 23-6 run that decided everything.
Wade set up James and Chalmers for 3-pointers that came 24 seconds apart, and the Heat were well on their way. Chalmers, Shane Battier and James -- who had 10 points in the spurt -- made 3's later in the run, which was capped by Allen making a pair of free throws, the second of those being point No. 23,001 of his career. Miami had 33 assists on 47 baskets, and even the Suns were impressed by that.
Through three quarters, Wade, James and Bosh combined to shoot 26 for 39. The Suns, as a team, were 26 for 68 at that point -- and needed a shot by Shannon Brown from near midcourt as the third-period buzzer expired just to match the field-goal total by Miami's "Big Three." The lead reached as many as 30 in the fourth.
The game was played on the 24th anniversary of Miami's first NBA game, a 111-91 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. ... Allen has 62 points on 33 field-goal attempts with the Heat. ... Suns reserve center and former Miami player Jermaine O'Neal was not with Phoenix because of a family matter. ... Heat G Norris Cole banked one in from midcourt to end the first quarter, giving Miami a 34-25 lead. ... Heat G James Jones appeared in his 500th NBA game. ... Former Heat forward Michael Beasley scored seven points in 30 minutes for Phoenix.