Thanks mostly to Meyers Leonard, the Heat kept pace with the Nuggets through the first quarter and down by just one point 28-29. Miami would go on to score just 61 points the rest of the way as Denver stepped up their perimeter defense and pressured outside shooters. A Nuggets 16-5 run to end the first half would give them a double-digit lead that they would continue to add to in the second half.
Jamal Murray led his team with 21 points in a balanced effort featuring six players in double-digit scoring.
Jimmy Butler had a team-leading 16 points, but shot just 3-12 from the field. Kendrick Nunn struggled again from the field for the second game in a row and Tyler Herro was uncharacteristically quiet with just two points in 15 minutes. Miami shot just 36.4% from the field and 31.0% from 3-point territory.
After such a hot start to the season, it was bound to come crashing down at some point and it finally happened against a solid team on the road. Now it’s up to the team as to how they choose to respond to this performance and whether or not they can build from this.
Miami will try again on Thursday night against the Phoenix Suns, one of the NBA’s most improved teams at 9:00pm.