Boykins’ 3-pointer Lifts Nuggets Over Heat
Denver 101, Miami 99
DENVER, Dec. 3 (Ticker) -- Andre Miller and Earl Boykins would not let the Denver Nuggets lose.
Miller scored seven of his 22 points in the last 5 1/2 minutes and found Boykins for the game-winning 3-pointer with 17 seconds left as the Nuggets fought off the Miami Heat, 101-99.
Antoine Walker threw in a running hook over Marcus Camby to cap a late 7-0 burst and give Miami a 99-98 lead with 29 seconds remaining. Walker scored 20 points to lead a solid effort by the Heat's bench.
Miami began the next possession in a zone, which it used early in the final period to get back in the game. Miller drove along the right baseline and whipped a pass to the deep left wing to Boykins, who buried the go-ahead 3-pointer.
"We had a play to attack the zone coming out of the timeout," Miller said. "I was supposed to find someone for an open shot and I saw Earl come open for the three.
"The three felt good. I was able to get my legs up under me. It was just about following through with the shot and I was able to do that," Boykins said. "Andre had great vision and he was able to find me. This was a very big game for us, because we haven't been playing very well as of late."
Miami's James Posey missed an open 3-pointer from the left corner with three seconds left that was tracked down by Miller, and the Nuggets burned the rest of the clock.
"If we win the game, the zone defense is the best decision ever made, but we didn't," said Heat center Alonzo Mourning, who was off the floor for much of the fourth quarter but present for the game-winning shot. "I'm not a big zone fan, but if you're trying to change the flow of the game, that is the time to use it. Earl hit a big shot, though."
Dwyane Wade scored 32 points and Gary Payton added 17 off the bench for the Heat, who fell to 2-1 on their five-game road trip as their three-game winning streak came to an end.
A 3-pointer by Boykins opened the fourth quarter and gave Denver an 87-73 lead. But Payton, Walker and Posey sank 3-pointers in a 13-0 run that pulled Miami within a point.
"Our players did a great job of fighting back," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "That was the first time we've used the zone this year. We had to. We couldn't stop them at all."
"Good teams know how to come back, and they did on us," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "They played a good zone and it slowed us down a lot."
The Nuggets were clinging to a 91-90 lead when Miller drained consecutive jumpers for a 95-90 edge with 4:09 to play. Wade made two free throws, but Miller answered with a free throw and drive to make it 98-92 with 2:36 left.
Payton made a 3-pointer and Wade drove for a dunk before Walker's hook over Camby, who had 12 rebounds and three blocks.
Boykins scored 12 points and Kenyon Martin added 11 for the Nuggets, who scored 28 fast-break points. Jason Williams scored 11 points for the Heat, who held a 46-38 advantage in rebounds.
Anthony scored 13 points in the third quarter as Denver extended a 56-50 halftime lead to 84-73 entering the final period.