The Miami Heat will be hosting the Denver Nuggets at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami tonight. It's the first of two meetings this season between the two clubs, and the only time they will match up in South Beach. The Heat won their first game of the season, 120-107 at home over the Boston Celtics before dropping a 104-84 matchup to a hot shooting New York Knicks squad in Madison Square Garden last night. Afterward, the Heat will play two more games at home, hosting the Phoenix Suns on Monday and the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. The Nuggets will conclude their three game season opening road trip after losing to the Philadelphia 76ers 84-75 on Wednesday and dropping a 102-89 decision last night against the Orlando Magic. They’ll open at home against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
The two teams last met on January 13th, as the 7-4 Nuggets defeated the 8-3 Heat, 117-104 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Partial recap courtesy of NBA.COM:
Ty Lawson had 24 points and nine assists, Nene had 17 points and 12 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat 117-104 on Friday night. Rudy Fernandez and Al Harrington had 15 points each off the bench for Denver, which had six players in double figures.
LeBron James scored 35 points and Chris Bosh had 17 for Miami, which has lost three straight. Dwyane Wade had 12 points and six assists before leaving midway through the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle.
Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets (LeBron James, 35 Pts vs. Ty Lawson, 24 Pts), Jan. 13, 2012 (via RedBullgakov)
After the game, LeBron James spoke about Miami’s missed opportunities and their then three-game losing streak:
"They just broke us down too many times, broke down our defense too many times and were able to get pretty much whatever they wanted."
Miami lost their matchup last night to the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. Partial recap courtesy of NBA.COM:
Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Knicks gave suffering New Yorkers something to cheer with a 104-84 victory over the Miami Heat in their storm-delayed season opener Friday night.
In the first sporting event in New York since Superstorm Sandy, the Knicks dominated a game the Heat players weren't sure should even be played with the city still so devastated. But the Knicks hoped they could provide a distraction for a few hours, and fans who were able to watch surely loved what they saw from a team that could barely compete with Miami last season.
Steve Novak, a non-factor against the Heat in last season's playoffs, added 17 points off the bench and Raymond Felton had 14 points and nine assists to begin his second stint with the Knicks.
LeBron James scored 23 points for the Heat, so impressive in a season-opening victory over Boston on Tuesday but never really in this one. Dwyane Wade, who thought the game should be postponed, finished with 15 points and Chris Bosh had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks HIGHLIGHTS | 2012-2013 | 11/2/2012 (via BobGodz)
Dwyane Wade had previously showed surprise that the game was being played in light of the recent passage of Hurricane Sandy and the resultant damage:
"If we're in a car and we're in traffic for three hours, what are other people who are really affected by this, what are they doing? How are they getting around, how are they moving, et cetera?" Wade said. "So it was just like, come on man, we shouldn't be here to play a basketball game. If anything, we should be here to do something to help the city."
He decided later to donate his game check, $210,000, to relief efforts.
The Nuggets also took a hard loss on the road last night, dropping a 13-point decision to the Orlando Magic. Partial recap courtesy of NBA.COM:
Buoyed by Glen Davis' 29 points and 10 rebounds, and J.J. Redick's 21 points off the bench, the Magic sprinted out to an early lead and held off the Denver Nuggets 102-89 Friday night.
Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 23 points, with Ty Lawson chipping in 12. But Denver struggled offensively for the second straight game, unable to dig out of a 20-point first-half hole.
Glen Davis Leads Magic Past Nuggets (via ESPN)
Arron Affalo spoke later about Orlando's unexpected first victory:
"It's exciting man, there's been a lot of change around here," Afflalo said. "The expectations haven't been too high, so for us to get off to this type of start is a good feeling and we're gonna continue to take it one game at a time."
The Heat is 25-25 all-time against the Nuggets.
Game Time: 7:30 PM ET
Current Odds: Miami by -9
Season Series: 0-0
Miami Heat: 1-1, third in the Southeast Division, tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference, tied for 12th in the NBA. Current odds of making the postseason: 60.8%
Denver Nuggets: 0-2, fifth in the Northwest Division, tied for 13th in the Western Conference, tied for 26th in the NBA. Current odds of making the postseason: 46.1%
PG - Mario Chalmers
SG - Dwyane Wade
SF - Shane Battier
PF - LeBron James
CF - Chris Bosh
PG - Ty Lawson
SG - Andre Igoudala
SF - Danilo Gallinari
PF - Kanneth Faried
C -JaVale McGee
No player on either team has ever played for tonight's opponent.
Seven more field goals will move LeBron James into 12th on the all-time list, passing Brian Grant with 1,404.
Chris Bosh needs 10 more free throws to move him past Brian Grant into 14th with 628.
Joel Anthony needs two rebounds to move him past John Salley into 20th, with 1,057.
Chris Bosh needs three rebounds to move him into 15th, past Kevin Willis with 1,117.
Udonis Haslem needs 47 rebounds to become Miami's all-time leader, passing Alonzo Mourning with 4,808.
Eight assists will move Mario Chalmers into seventh all-time, passing Anthony Carter and Glen Rice with 1,068.
One blocked shot will place Chris Bosh in 20th all-time, passing Matt Geiger with 99.
Heat Splits versus Denver:
In 16 games against Denver, LBJ averages 40 minutes, 27 points, seven rebounds, and seven and a half assists. DWade has also played the Nuggets 16 times, averaging 37 minutes, 26 points, five rebounds and five dimes. In 16 games, Bosh plays 35 minutes, scores 17 points, grabs 10 boards and dishes out 3 assists per game.
Team Leaders: (After two games)
LeBron James, 24.5
Dwyane Wade, 22.0
Chris Bosh, 15.5
Chris Bosh, 10.5
LeBron James, 8.5
Rashard Lewis, 5.5
Mario Chalmers, 6.0
Dwyane Wade, 4.0
LeBron James, 4.0
Mario Chalmers, 1.5
Shane Battier, 1.5
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, 1.0
Chris Bosh, 2.0
LeBron James, 1.5
Dwyane Wade, Rashard Lewis, 0.5