Miami returns to action a day after their latest setback, a controversial 120-118 loss to the Golden State Warriors, amid plenty of questions about this team as they sink further down in the standings. The loss dropped them down to the ninth spot in the East and out of the playoffs, so the Heat have to put last night’s disappointment behind them to try to salvage this road trip as they face off against another tough foe who are second only to the Warriors in the Western Conference standings.
The Nuggets have been one of the better NBA teams this season but are currently in a three-game losing streak, all on the road, right after having won six games in a row overall. Back home at the Pepsi Center, Denver has only lost four times this season. Starters Paul Millsap (right ankle soreness) and Gary Harris (strained right groin), two of their best scorers, continue to be held out due to injury. Isaiah Thomas (hip) has not played so far this season as he continues to rehab.
Tonight’s game is going to be as hard of a challenge as it was last night for the Heat, perhaps even more so considering the team is playing on the second night of a back-to-back set with reduced time to rest and now also having to acclimate to the city’s higher elevation.
In their first match-up of the season, Denver won 103-99 last month thanks to Nikola Jokic’s triple-double and his late game basket which sealed the victory with less than three seconds left.
Heat: Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside
Nuggets: Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Malik Beasley, Mason Plumlee, Nikola Jokic
TV: Fox Sports Sun
Radio: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis)
Spanish Radio: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)