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Even before the Miami Heat took the court for Saturday’s 97-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center to complete their six-game trip, coach Erik Spoelstra deemed it a step forward for his team because it presented his players with the opportunity to test themselves.

“That’s what happens when you go on the road for an extended period of time,” he said. “The challenge we had was six games in nine days, playing in different time zones, and playing against very good basketball teams. So it’s forced us to have to be able to respond to a lot of those tough times.