Notebook: Heat 98, Nuggets 93

Posted Nov 16, 2012 9:23 AM

By Michael Kelly, for

THE FACTS: LeBron James had 27 points and 12 assists, Shane Battier was 6-for-7 from 3-point range on his way to 18 points and the Miami Heat ended more than a decade of futility in Denver with a 98-93 win over the Nuggets on Thursday.

Mike Miller had 14 points for the Heat, who snapped a 10-game losing streak in Denver despite not having guard Dwyane Wade, who sat out with a strained right foot.

Andre Miller scored 19 points and nearly brought the Nuggets back from 19 down. JaVale McGee had 18 points and Kenneth Faried scored 16 and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "This is a tough building to play in, especially when you get in at five in the morning."

-- James

THE STAT: The Nuggets hurt themselves with poor 3-point defense and another bad night at the foul line. Miami hit 13-for-27 from long range and it again missed crucial free throws. It's 30th in the league in foul shooting.

TURNING POINT: After trimming a 19-point deficit to one, Ty Lawson had a chance to give Denver its first lead of the game. He hit a runner in the lane that was negated when Battier drew the offensive foul. Denver never took the lead.

QUOTABLE II: "The first quarter, that was pretty much the deciding point of the game. And them knocking down 3s. You've got Wade out and you surround LeBron James with 3-point shooters and they knock them down."

-- Miller

HOT: Battier stayed outside on offense and it paid off for him and the Heat. The forward hit his first three from long range and only took 3-pointers in the first three quarters, hitting 5-for-6.

HOT II: McGee doesn't get many plays run for him but he makes the most of his touches. In the fourth quarter he scored six points during a 17-4 Denver run, including a running hook as the shot clock expired. McGee has built on his playoff performance from the spring.

NOT: The Nuggets' 3-point defense struggled against the Heat, which came into the game second in the league in shooting percentage from long range. Miami hit its first four shots from behind the arc in the third quarter to extend its halftime lead to 19.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Faried continues to be a beast on the boards. He is averaging a double-double this season and nearly had that in the first half.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Several Denver Broncos players were in attendance, including linebacker Von Miller, running back Willis McGahee and cornerback Champ Bailey, who was sporting a LeBron James sweatshirt.

GOOD MOVE: James evoked cheers from the fans who booed him at the start of the game when he blocked Corey Brewer's shot at one end and then finished an alley-oop at the other in the first quarter. He later heard cheers when Kosta Koufas blocked his drive into the front row early in the third quarter.

BAD MOVE: With the Heat reeling and trying to hold on, the Nuggets had another shot at the lead with 1:05 left. But Danilo Gallinari jacked up a quick 3-pointer that missed and Norris Cole drained a 3 from the corner to seal the game.

QUOTABLE III: "At that moment we were wearing them out a little bit, the momentum was on our side, keep attacking, that would be my choice. The hustle, the energy was on our side so don't go out of character. That was somewhat out of personality. We don't pull quick 3s."

-- Nuggets coach George Karl

NOTABLE: Heat point guard Mario Chalmers suffered a strained right triceps in the first quarter and didn't play after logging seven minutes. ... Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wade sitting out was a precautionary move and he's day-to-day. ... Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler sat with a sore left hip.

UP NEXT: For the Heat, Saturday @ Phoenix, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee, Saturday vs. Cleveland. For the Nuggets, Saturday @ San Antonio, Monday @ Memphis, Wednesday @ Minnesota.