MIAMI -- This time the Miami Heat were a bit more selective, attempting fewer than 20 3-point shots for the first time in four games and only the second time in the last 10.
How selective? For only the ninth time in his 1,159 career games, Ray Allen did not even attempt one, the first time that's happened since April 10, 2010.
But not so selective that the long ball didn't make a difference, with Shane Battier 4 of 8 from distance and Mario Chalmers helping put away Saturday's 97-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns with a critical late 3-pointer.
To coach Erik Spoelstra, it gets back to taking the right 3-point shots, not launching a volley of random attempts.
"It's got to be consistent with our identity," he said after the Heat completed a 4-2 trip, now off until Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks at AmericanAirlines Arena. "It has to be with an inside-outside attack or via great ball movement, where it's finding the open shooter.
"We don't like to take contested threes. We have enough great shooters in that locker room that if you are able to execute and move the ball freely to the open man, and if they're wide open beyond the three, they're very accurate."
That certainly has been the case lately with Battier, whose 10 3-pointers the past two games mark his highest total in consecutive regular-season games since he hit five on Jan. 10, 2007 and five more on Jan. 12, 2007, while playing for the Houston Rockets. Battier, in fact, has hit at least one 3-pointer in each of the last five games, marking his longest streak since a five-game stretch midway through last season.
"He's a confident shooter," Spoelstra said. "The thing that's important about Shane is he's there for space, and regardless of whether he's making them or not, he's taken them. He's not afraid of the moment."
Battier has now scored in double figures in consecutive regular season games for the first time since joining the Heat last season, when counting his season-high 18 points Thursday against the Denver Nuggets and 12 at Phoenix on Saturday, with all of those points on 3-poiners.
"We all know he does so many more things than just the three-ball," Spoelstra stressed. "And there's countless things that don't show up in the box score."
Lost in LeBron James fighting through the flu in Saturday's victory was center Chris Bosh leading the Heat in scoring for the fourth time in the season's first 11 games. By contrast, he led the Heat in scoring 16 total times in his first two seasons with the team.
Bosh's next double-figure scoring game with be the 600th of his 10-year career.
"He's such an impact to our team, and so efficient," James said. "He gets his points so quietly, makes jump shots, gets to the free-throw line. He makes things happen for our team."
Bosh said he appreciated the need for more offense with guard Dwyane Wade missing three of the six games on the trip, one with a virus and the final two with a sprained left foot.
"I know that my role has changed a bit and I have to be a lot more aggressive," Bosh said, "so it's just a matter of making shots when I'm open."
Saturday was only the third time in his 145 games with the Heat that Bosh was the game leader in both points and rebounds, when factoring in his nine boards. By contrast, he did it 42 times in his 509 games with the Toronto Raptors, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
For his part, Spoelstra bristles at the notion of Bosh being challenged over these first three weeks of the season as an undersized center.
"We're so far past that now," he said. "Come on, that's old news. We've dealt with this now for over a year. Those are adjustments, conventional versus not.
"I don't really see that we're small. Offensively, he's got more space to operate."
Haslem vs. Zo
With his six rebounds in Saturday's victory, all in the second half, reserve power forward Udonis Haslem will enter Wednesday's game two rebounds from breaking Alonzo Mourning's all-time franchise record.
"I guess it was meant to be," Haslem said of going for the milestone at home.
The 10th year veteran said the opportunity to do it in front of Mourning, now a Heat executive, would be particularly meaningful.
"Obviously, I'll always look up to Zo," he said. "He's been a tremendous mentor to me, ultimate professional. So, regardless, he's going to always be somebody that I look up to."
Haslem moved into sole possession of first place on the Heat's all-time games-played list Saturday, appearing in his 605th regular season career game, one more than Wade.
"I just go out there and perform every night and just try to help the team get wins," he said.
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