After an exciting win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, the Miami Hea began their 5-game west coast road trip with a less than stellar performance and loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Despite being without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., the Nuggets had complete control of the game from start to finish and sent the Heat to a 7-3 record on the season. Miami was 3-0 vs the Western Conference before this game.
The first half saw the Heat fall behind by 15 at the half. Kyle Lowry went scoreless and Bam Adebayo had only two points in the first 24 minutes. Jimmy Butler had a great half with 21 points, but the momentum was all Denver. And Jimmy went silent the rest of the game except for a small outburst to close the game.
Nikola Jokic was a real problem for the Heat.
Let me type that again: Jokic was a serious problem for the Heat. He was so patient against the Heat’s defense and helped himself score as well as his teammates. He neutralized Bam on the other end of the floor for much of the game. Miami never really made things difficult for him except for a small portion of the third quarter. Jokic had a triple-double in this game with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists. Later, he became a bigger problem.
Will Barton scored 25 points on 7-9 from three and that really hurt the Heat any time they wanted to make a move, Barton just shot the ball really well.
The Heat didn’t get a favorable call and didn’t have anyone providing a spark to push themselves out of the hole close enough to really do anything. Kyle Lowry went scoreless for the entire game, which is not ideal.
Here’s your summary in a nutshell: The Heat shot poorly and got beat on the boards. That’s what happened. It appears it’s a little bit of feast or famine for the Heat this year. Either they really have it going or really don’t.
But...also, this happened:
There is no quit in Duncan Robinson!— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) November 9, 2021
: Bally Sports Sun
️: https://t.co/6iR1VHZjwJ pic.twitter.com/5rVx0Isux3
That’s gotta be one of the best sequences of Duncan Robinson’s career. He blocks the MVP center’s dunk, and on the other end connects on an And-1. That’s some good stuff. But there weren’t quite enough of those types of plays for Miami. The Nuggets pretty much got what they wanted in this game.
The Heat was down by as many as 23 points in this one. And honestly, Denver is just a hard place for them to win. You would have thought that coming on the first game of the road trip that they’d play better, but it just wasn’t there tonight.
The game ended on a sour note as Jokic gave Markieff Morris a blind-sided cheap shot to the back. Here’s what happened:
Nikola Jokic clobbers Markieff Morris from behind late in the fourth quarter and things get intense. pic.twitter.com/9RclknqIKB— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) November 9, 2021
Morris eventually got up after a long time on the floor. Morris and Jokic were ejected and Jimmy Butler was given a technical after the skirmish. We would expect Jokic to receive a suspension for his actions.
After that, Spo pulled his starters to prevent anything else and he didn’t insert Udonis Haslem to clean up.
The Heat lost the game 113-96.
Next up is Wednesday night, 10 PM EST against the LA Lakers.