PHOENIX -- When Udonis Haslem moves past Alonzo Mourning in career rebounds, Haslem will become the first undrafted player in NBA history to hold a team’s rebounding record.
Haslem had six rebounds Saturday night against the Suns to give him 4,806. Mourning holds the team record with 4,807 rebounds.
“If you want to talk about whatever the core values of the Miami Heat are, we could list them for you or we could just show you a picture of Udonis Haslem,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game. “He embodies all the characteristics we want of a Miami Heat player, the leadership, the toughness, the durability, the consistency, the purity.”
After going undrafted in 2002, Haslem played one season at Chalon-sur-Saone in France. He then earned a spot on the Heat’s roster after being invited to training camp in 2003.
“To see a player like that, who some called undersized and that might have been the reason why he wasn’t drafted, to be able to have the success he’s had in the paint, that speaks to his heart and whatever he has inside,” Spoelstra said.
Spoelstra often calls Haslem a “warrior” for his toughness on the court. Mike Miller has admired Haslem’s determination ever since they played together at the University of Florida.
“Everyone who has been close to him or seen him understands his hunger and his passion,” Miller said. “He uses things like not getting drafted and going over to France as motivation.”
The Heat made at least 10 three-point field goals in five of its first 10 games.
Last season, the Heat had 10 or more three-pointers in only five games total.
Shane Battier’s six three-pointers against the Nuggets on Thursday night tied his single-game high with the Heat. Miller, who started Saturday for the injured Dwyane Wade, went 4 of 8 from three-point range Thursday. The three-pointers contributed to the Heat’s first victory in Denver in 10 years.
“We called it a character win because we found a way to win,” Spoelstra said.
Wade missed his second consecutive game because of a sprained left foot.
Entering Saturday, the Heat was 16-3 in games without Wade in the lineup over the past two seasons. Wade sat out three of the Heat’s six games on the road trip. He did not play against Atlanta in the first game of the trip because of an illness.
“It’s nothing major,” Spoelstra said. “He has a bunch of little things that we don’t want to turn into anything more.”
Spoelstra called Wade’s status “day to day” before the game. Wade averaged 11 points in the three games he played during the trip.
• LeBron James started Saturday despite suffering from flu-like symptoms. He tweeted a picture of himself looking sickly Saturday morning and complained of a headache and an upset stomach.
“Welcome to the NBA,” Spoelstra said. “That’s what it is. Every team deals with it. We feel we have enough versatility to get through it. There are no excuses.”