It seemed as though all was going to plan for the Miami Heat in the first quarter's of Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets. But after the Nuggs outscored the defending champs 65-41 in the next two quarters, they knew they were in trouble.
And even outscoring the Nuggs 36-26 in the final quarter couldn't save the Heat from falling to their visitors from Denver, 111-107.
The Heat truly couldn't do anything right last night, and the Nuggs took full advantage of their mistakes; beating them in almost every facet of the game. Even though the Heat had six players break into double digits, three of their players didn't even get on the score chart. It was a different story for the Nuggs, as every single player on the team scored at least four points. Not to mention, three of their bench players (Darrell Arthur, J.J. Hickson, Evan Fournier) combined for 43 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and five steals. The Nuggs handily won the free throw battle, making 11 more from the charity stripe than their opponents from South Beach. They also garnered 5 more steals than the home team which lead to four more fast break points, coincidentally ending up being the difference in the game.
This could be a turning point for the Denver Nuggets, and if they can manage to use this monumental win as fuel for the rest of the season, they could make a push for the last playoff spot in the West. As for the Heat, this marks their fifth loss in the last six games. This was only the fifth home loss of the ENTIRE season for the two-time defending NBA champs.
The Nuggs really need to take this momentum into the final 17 games of the season, especially if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs.
Let's hope the Nuggs don't look at this huge win and celebrate prematurely, but instead use this as a sign that they can hang with the best.