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Heat losing streak hits seven with 118-105 loss to Suns despite 26 from Butler

MIAMI – The last time the Miami Heat lost seven in a row, the consolation prize was Michael Beasley in the 2008 NBA draft lottery.

It doesn’t feel much better at the moment, with Monday night’s 118-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns at Kaseya Center leaving the Heat 0-for-two weeks.

It not only was another loss, it was another bad loss in a streak that started with defensive incompetence in a 121-97 road loss to the lottery-level Toronto Raptors and the two games prior to Monday included a season-worst 33-point home loss to the Boston Celtics and Saturday’s 14-point loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

With the offense down and the defense not stepping up enough, the Heat fell behind by 28 points and lost to a team that entered on a two-game losing streak, having played the previous night in Orlando while the Heat were idle.

The Heat got 26 points from Jimmy Butler, 21 from Terry Rozier, 17 from Tyler Herro, but only eight from Bam Adebayo.

The Suns got 23 points from Eric Gordon, 22 points from Devin Booker, 20 from Kevin Durant and 19 from Bradley Beal.

Next up for the Heat are the 26-18 Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at Kaseya Center.

Five Degrees of Heat from Monday night’s game:

1. Game flow: The Suns led 33-25 at the end of the first period, after the Heat committed five first-quarter turnovers.

The Heat then fell behind by 17 in the second period and trailed 62-49 at halftime.

It got worse from there, with the Suns taking a 27-point lead in the third quarter and a 100-76 lead into the fourth.

Butler then returned from his rest at the start of the fourth quarter with 7:01 left with the Heat down 105-91.

From there, the Heat trimmed the deficit to 100-99 with 3:21 to play on a pair of Butler free throws, with a Butler 3-pointer with 1:33 left drawing the Heat within 115-105 in the too-late comeback.

2. Quick start: Rozier made his third start and scored the Heat’s first six points. The first two came on a jumper after crossing over Durant, with the next four on a 3-point play when fouled on a successful 3-pointer by Jusuf Nurkic.

For the third consecutive game, the remainder of the Heat starting lineup was Adebayo, Butler, Herro and Haywood Highsmith.

Rozier accounted for 16 of the Heat’s first 22 points, when counting his two first-quarter assists that led to 3-pointers. He was the only Heat player to make more than one basket in the first quarter.

He closed 8 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.

3. Butler boost: With the Heat’s offense a study in inefficiency beyond Rozier’s play, Butler again pushed himself, after closing with 28 points in Saturday’s loss in New York.

This time Butler was 6 of 11 from the field and 8 of 8 from the line when he took his regular season at the start of the fourth quarter. He closed 7 of 12 from the field and 10 of 10 from the line.

The Heat’s lone win since Butler returned from a seven-game absence with a toe issue remains an overtime decision in Brooklyn against the struggling Nets, when Butler scored 31.

4. Limited again: After attempting only 10 shots in Saturday’s loss in New York and after not getting to the foul line in that game, Adebayo this time stood 1 of 7 from the field through three quarters, closing 3 of 9.

Whether it was the bulk of Nurkic in his path or simply leaving a wide-open finger roll short in the first half, it was another night of Adebayo coming up short.

Unlike Saturday, when he still finished with a double-double, Adebayo this time never found his offense, his lone free throws in two games not coming until 5:05 remained.

Adebayo’s struggles come with All-Star reserves to be named Thursday.

5. Always something: On a night the Heat shot 3 of 13 in the first quarter and struggled from there, Duncan Robinson, who had entered in the Heat’s first substitution along with Kevin Love, lasted only 3:55 before he was lost for the night due to illness.

Robinson missed his only attempt, a 3-point shot, and was called for two fouls during his abbreviated night.

Robinson’s illness opened the door to playing time for Josh Richardson, who was held out of Saturday’s loss in New York.

The Heat were limited with their 3-point options, with Cole Swider on G League assignment and Jamal Cain inactive.

The Suns also lost one of their 3-point specialists, with Grayson Allen sidelined for the second half with a sprained right ankle.

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