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RECAP: Heat finish strong with 124-119 win over Nuggets

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Another high scoring game for the Miami Heat and they get the big victory of the Denver Nuggets.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bad defense or hot shooting? I don't know, you can make the call, but the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets were filling it up Monday night in Miami.

It became clear what was going to hurt the Heat in this game: the interior. The Heat had a rebounding advantage in 13 straight games until this one. And the Nuggets pounded the interior from the beginning, scoring 20+ points in the paint in the opening quarter. They finished with 68! It wasn't a good night to have Hassan Whiteside with a bit of a slow start. Don't worry, he scored 12 points in the 4th (lots of lobs) and finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The defense, however finally picked up in the fourth quarter for the Miami Heat and it was led by Whiteside, Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow. Yes, they were the catalyst on that side of the ball that helped push Miami to victory. On offense, it was a combo of everyone doing a little bit until time ran out. And that's because the Nuggets would just not go away. Basically, the Heat played a solid stretch of defense for about 6 minutes that helped them get some separation.

Seven Heat players scored in double figures and they were led by a career-high 20 points from Justise WInslow. Dwyane Wade had 19 points, Joe Johnson had 18, and 17 from both Luol Deng and Josh Richardson.

Let's talk about Josh for a second...man that kid is playing! He went 4-5 from deep and was a team best +16. His energy and more importantly his shot is really helping the Heat. He and Joe Johnson are making up for the three point game that was absent without Chris Bosh, who was on the bench tonight for the Heat.

They had to overcome 24 points on perfect shooting from Kenneth Faried. Emmanuel Mudiay had 23 points and Gary Harris had 18 for Denver. The Nuggets shot 52% on the game, but wasn't enough to Miami's 59%. Give Denver plenty of credit, they played really well, but Miami just found a way to win this game.

With the win, the Heat improved to 39-28 on the season. They will next play the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday in Miami.