Recap: Heat vs. Nuggets

High-scoring affairs are always very fun to watch, and last night’s game between the Heat and Nuggets in Miami was no exception. In a 124-119 thriller, the Miami Heat were able to overcome a much-improved Nuggets team in order to start a 3-game homestand on a high note. This game has it all. Three-point shooting, fastbreaks, and plenty of dunks. This game was very big for Miami because it brought them to within a half-game of the Celtics for third place in the Eastern Conference. Miami actually trailed entering the 4th quarter, but used a late run to put away Denver and wound up winning b 5.

Let’s take a look at the 3 keys and see how the Heat did.

  1. Clean the defensive glass: The Heat did not do a great job on the defensive glass or the offensive glass. The Nuggets had 13 offensive rebounds while the Heat had only 6. Although a high field goal percentage (Miami shot 59%) means you won’t have a lot of 2nd chance opportunities, the Nuggets also shot over 50% and managed to crash the boards well.
  2. Pick on the rook: Emmanuel Mudiay had 23 points and 10 assists, which is very good. He did, however, have 5 turnovers and was only 9-19 from the floor. The Heat did a pretty good job into forcing him into mistakes, but Mudiay was able to thrive in the fast-paced tempo.
  3. Assault the rim: Miami had 58 points in the paint, which was helped by Whiteside being in the game. The Nuggets only had 2 blocks, while Miami got to the free throw line 28 times. On the other end,the Heat gave up 68 points in the paint, which is horrible. The up-tempo pace does figure into that along with the small ball lineup the Heat are sporting in Bosh’s absence.

I was very impressed with the two rookies in the win. Justise Winslow had 20 points and Josh Richardson had 17 (4-5 from 3), which included a monster baseline slam over Kenneth Faried (and Hassan Whiteside technically). Hassan Whiteside continued his strong overall play as he notched his 6th consecutive double-double off the bench with 18 and 10. Wade quietly put up 19 points and 5 assists and new man Joe Johnson had 18 points and 5 assists. Here’s the video of  the Richardson slam.

Video credit to: Zizo Fever.

The Heat next play host to Charlotte on Thursday in another huge game that could help give the Heat a buffer in the playoff standings.

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