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Nunn explodes for 40, Heat fall to Rockets 144-133 in preseason finale

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Miami may have lost out on a perfect preseason record but they enjoyed a dazzling performance from Nunn.

Houston Rockets v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Miami Heat led by Kendrick Nunn had their chances late in the game but James Harden and the Houston Rockets spoiled what would have been a perfect preseason for Miami with the 144-133 win.

Nunn made his case to be in the Miami Heat’s regular season rotation and then some with an incredible 40-point performance showcasing an impressive offensive game in their final preseason game. The undrafted combo guard was simply unstoppable through long stretches of the second half, in which he scored 28 points, as he almost single-handedly led the comeback charge to close within five points in the final quarter.

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What a night for @nunnbetter_!

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Though the team was shorthanded on the second night of a back-to-back set to finish the preseason and without Jimmy Butler, they showed a lot of heart to claw back into the game but the defense that had propelled them to four straight wins wasn’t there tonight against the premium offense from Houston. Fatigue could have been a part of it, and several veterans that did play only appeared for limited stints.

NBA scoring champion James Harden countered Nunn with 44 points and was re-inserted back into the game with eight minutes left to help seal the victory after Russell Westbrook left the game with an apparent hand injury.

Derrick Jones Jr. also appeared to injure his knee late in the game, ending his night with 13 points and five rebounds. Tyler Herro had his usual highlight-worthy plays tonight and closed a highly successful preseason with 14 points (4-8 from 3-point territory) and six rebounds. Bam Adebayo continues to fill up the box score, totaling 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

The Heat played excellent basketball during the preseason, but now the games actually count starting next Wednesday when the Miami Heat host the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:30pm.