Heat comeback falls short, lose to Nuggets 103-97

Heat Nuggets
The Heat trailed by as many as 16 points Thursday to the Nuggets. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Despite a roller coaster offensive output from the Miami Heat Thursday evening, they were able to crawl back and trim a once-16-point Denver Nuggets lead to two with 10.1 seconds left. Though the Heat were not able to quite get over the hump, suffering a 103-97 loss against the reigning champs who beat Miami in similar fashion mere months earlier in the NBA Finals.

The Heat were missing two of their best shooters in Kevin Love and Tyler Herro, who were both out due to injury. Miami shot 42.2 percent from the floor and just 26.9 percent (7-26) from 3-point range. Jimmy Butler, who couldn’t find a consistent rhythm, tallied 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal on 7-of-17 shooting. Bam Adebayo posted a team-high 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting with eight rebounds; Terry Rozier had 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and one steal on 6-of-15 shooting.

Caleb Martin had 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds — three offensive — on 5-of-10 shooting in 28 minutes off the bench while Duncan Robinson finished with 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and three assists on 5-of-9 shooting and 2-of-6 from distance.

According to Cleaning The Glass, the Heat graded in the 7th percentile in points per 100 possessions (96.9) and 10th in effective field goal percentage (46.4). They converted on 56.0 percent of their attempts at the rim (56.0) and 43.8 percent on mid-range attempts (53rd percentile), which made up roughly 40 percent of its shot diet (87th percentile). They held their own water defensively, however, getting very competitive efforts from Terry Rozier, Jaime Jaquez and Bam Adebayo, among others.

Michael Porter Jr. led the way for Denver, tallying 30 points and 11 rebounds on 12-of-23 shooting and 4-of-10 from 3-point range, in addition to a pair of steals and blocks. Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists on 6-of-15 shooting while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope posted 18 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Aaron Gordon had a very inspiring two-way effort, posting 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.

Thursday’s loss drops Miami from No. 5 to No. 8 in the standings, trailing the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and Indiana each by a 0.5 game. All in all, even though Thursday was very frustrating from the Heat’s perspective, it had a very successful road trip, finishing 5-1 with wins over Milwaukee, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Sacramento and Portland, which was split up by the All-Star break. The Heat will return home for two games, beginning Saturday against the Utah Jazz at 5 p.m. EST.


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Deadsori(Vincent Quitoriano)

It was like a playoff game.Love the match but hate the lost. You can clearly see the effect of not having Murray and Herro on the offense of both teams.Denver hitting their threes and length won the game.

Now i get why some people say that Miami needs a mobile true sf/pf player or defensive center. Its too keep up with Denver’s length. With Jimmy focus on Gordon and Bam on Jokic. Nobody is big enough to stop Porter, Caleb is too small and JJJ still doesnt have enough experience. If we have a good rim protector that is not old to at least keep up with Jokic then Bam can focus on MP. HH might have been a difference maker since he sometimes does well against Denver.

Move on to the next game and to the next win.


“Denver hitting their threes and length won the game”.

Agreed. Even with new faces in their bench, their offense is as good as last year. I will be surprised if they do not make it back to the NBA finals.


We needed a pf/c not just for denver’s length but for celtics,cavs, timberwolves, bucks, okc, etc. Also we didn’t make enough 3’s. Just 7 made 3s isn’t good enough to beat Denver.

heat for life

been saying that all season last year to year before that


Wasn’t able to follow the game just some glimpses of first half. Busy friday. Was really hoping Heat will sweep this road trip but 5-1 looks great. Still got time to reclaim that 6th seed. Reading some reviews seems Rozier had some bad shots which could have turned the tide. Its already March and nearing the exciting part. Cnt wait but for now gotta get Ws. Go Heat!

Reality Czech

Ira’s take on Rozier, accentuating the positives (we know the air ball negatives):
Scary Terry: Again needed for more with Herro out, Rozier played with an aggressive bent even when the shot wasn’t falling.
Among his moments was a third-quarter steal in the Nuggets’ backcourt that he then dibbled into the corner to convert a 3-pointer. That shot brought the Heat within two and led to an immediate Denver timeout.
He then returned with that offensive bent in the fourth quarter, forcing the Nuggets to play to the buzzer.”


My takeaway.
1. Denver has a deep bench.
2. Nuggets length on defense bothered the Heats offense.
3. As close as the final score was, honestly speaking, it will be an uphill battle playing a 4 games series with the Nuggets.
4. JJJ made a huge difference in defense on the Heat’s bench.
5. Perhaps with Tyler, Love and hopefully, JRich the Heat’s offense will be smoother and the bench unit’s defense better.
6. Considering Jovic’s experience or inexperience, he played well against Denver’s big line up.


1.5 games out of 4th place with one of the league’s easiest schedules remaining. The team has a good chance of winding up in 4th or 5th place by the playoffs. Spo needs to use the remaining games to see what the team has, firm up the rotation and get ready for the postseason.

Solid playoff rotation players are: Rozier, Herro, Butler, Bam, Duncan, Caleb, Jaime, Love
Players on the cusp: Richardson, Highsmith, Wright, Jovic
Reserves: ORobinson, Bryant,
Out for season: Smith



Nice rebound from the losing streak. They won a ton of games on this road trip. And they have four easy games in the next 8 (3 against he pistons, 1 against the wiz). tough loss but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. win the next two at home (jazz and pistons) and stay in the top-6 and everything else will work out just fine

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