The Phoenix Suns clinched a playoff berth on Wednesday with a 111-90 win over the Miami Heat to improve to 53-13.
It's the team's second consecutive postseason appearance after going 10 straight years without a postseason berth. Phoenix advanced to the NBA Finals last year but fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
The Suns played like they were on a mission this season and opened with a 48-10 record before the All-Star break. Phoenix put together two winning streaks of 10 games or more this year, including an 18-game run from the end of October to the beginning of December.
Things didn't come completely easy for the Suns, however. Star point guard Chris Paul went down with a fractured thumb in February that has caused him to miss eight games. The team has gone 5-3 in his absence.
Three-time All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker has led the way for the Suns, averaging 25.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists.
Phoenix has been one of the more balanced teams in the league this season. The team ranks fifth in total offense (113.7 ppg) and sixth in team defense (106.1 ppg). It also ranked second in field goal percentage (48.1) and first point differential (plus-7.6).
The Suns are highly motivated to avenge last year's loss in the Finals. Whichever team draws Phoenix in the first round will be in for a tough series.