HEAT Improve to 7-3 in Win Over Denver
By: Matt Pineda
With low expectations for a difficult place to play and without their All-Star guard, Dwyane Wade, the HEAT were able to beat the Denver Nuggets behind the work of LeBron James to improve to 7-3 on the season.
Miami got off to a great start considering the circumstances. Typically, the HEAT have really struggled in Denver, especially coming off a back-to-back. Normally a blowout, the HEAT took control of the game in the fist quarter behind LeBron James. Miami got contributions from a lot of players, even Joel Anthony to help build a lead.
Playing without Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers was also injured midway through the first quarter with a bicep strain and did not return. It didn’t seem to matter for the most part as LeBron played so well.
When the second half came around, Mike Miller and Shane Battier showed their worth knocking down several shots beyond the arc. Miller hit 4 threes in his 24 minutes. Miami was hot and build their lead up to 19 points. Bosh contributed 14 points on the night
But they became complacent and the Nuggets fought back. Behind the energy of JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried and the craftiness of Andre Miller, the Nuggets cut the lead down to one in the fourth quarter. A noticeably tired and fatigued LeBron James continued to will the HEAT to a lead with clutch shots and passes. Miami’s defense was noticeably better in this game as well.
The game was down to a 1 point lead with a minute left and after Gallinari air-balled a three point attempt, LeBron found Cole in the corner for his 12th assist to give the HEAT a 4 point lead.
From there, it was the HEAT’s game. They won the game 98-93 and improved to 7-3.
Game MVP: LeBron James
This was simply his game. He got what he wanted pretty much when he wanted it and he was able to find his shooters all night, make or miss. LeBron finished with 27 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds.
Tough Game: Ty Lawson
Typically the kryptonite to the HEAT is either a dominant big or a speedy point guard. Lawson has the skills to hurt Miami but he was a non factor in this game. He didn’t score in his 36 minutes. He did have 8 assists.
Lights Out Performance: Shane Battier
Battier was lights out. He hit 6-7 from beyond the arc and had 18 points. He also took several keys charges for the team.
Stat of the Game: 10 years
It’s been 10 years since the HEAT won in Denver and they snapped that streak tonight.
Next Up: The HEAT take on the Phoenix Suns in the final game of their six game road trip on Saturday night. The game starts at 9pm EST and can be seen on SUNSPORTS.