On the second game of a back to back on the road, the Miami Heat were able to get a victory against the superbly athletic, Denver Nuggets. Short handed, playing without Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and company stepped up to fill the void.
The Heat dominated the game from the perimeter for most of the game, connecting on a staggering 13-27 3-pointers. Miami lead by as many as 19, midway through the 3rd quarter but Denver would rally back in the 4th. Lead by Andre Miller, who finished with a team high 19 points, the Nuggets cut the lead to 1 late.
Mario Chalmers injured his right triceps in the first half and did not return after halftime. Norris Cole took over point guard duties in the second half and hit a huge 3-pointer with 54 seconds left, to give Miami the game clinching 4 point lead.
As expected, LeBron James quarterbacked things for the Heat tonight, posting up Denver's wing players, crashing the glass and facilitating the offense. He finished with a game high 27 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds.
Shane Battier might be the most under-appreciated guy in the NBA. Continuously demonstrating his imperative value to the Heat, Battier chipped in with 18 points, connecting on 6-7 3-pointers. His nightly power forward, defensive assignments and willingness to take charges with no fear, is a HUGE part of the Heat's success.
Chris Bosh had another relatively quite game and appears to be in a little funk. He finished with 14 points and grabbed just 3 rebounds. Inexcusable.
The Nuggets got several open looks from the perimeter but struggled with shooting throughout. One positive was their rebounding, coming into tonight as the best rebounding team in the league, they dominated the glass 48-29 and had 6 players who scored in double digits.
Coming off a blowout loss the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami needed this victory. The Heat improved to to 3-2 on their current road trip and have two more games remaining on it.
Miami's next game will be Sunday, when they visit the Phoenix Suns.