98 - 103 Final
  for this game

James, Wade help Heat control Nuggets

Mar 20, 2011 - 3:26 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James finished with 33 points and six rebounds as the Miami Heat controlled the Denver Nuggets, 103-98, at American Airlines Arena.

"Tonight was not our best execution, but there was enough," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It's about finding different ways to win."

The Heat didn't trail the entire contest and got 32 points from Dwyane Wade. Chris Bosh posted his fifth consecutive double-double, finishing with 18 points and 11 boards as Miami won for the fifth time in six games.

J.R. Smith paced the Nuggets with 27 points in a reserve role. Danilo Gallinari added 23 points, while Ty Lawson scored 16 with six assists and seven boards in the loss, Denver's second in as many days.

"(Miami) just came out strong and hit every shot," Lawson said. "They are a good team with good players. It's tough to stop them when they are hitting on all cylinders like that."

The Heat suffered a significant loss in the first quarter, though, as starting point guard Mario Chalmers left the game with a knee injury in the waning minutes.

Chalmers was defending Lawson in the Nuggets' end of the court with just over a minute remaining and strained his right knee on a non-contact play. The Heat guard fell to the court after Lawson made a basket and he grabbed for his knee. Unable to get to his feet, Chalmers was helped off the court by his teammates and did not return.

"You always hate to see one of your teammates going down," James said. "It's kind of a weird feeling because you're concerned for him, but you still have to do your job. We still wanted to win the game and we still had to concentrate."

The contest featured alternating runs, however, the Nuggets were never able to make a surge strong enough to take over the lead. They trailed 79-71 entering the final stanza and after Mike Bibby put the Heat's lead to 82-71 with a three to open the fourth, the Nuggets used a 9-2 run to get within 84-80.

Just like they did all game the Heat then responded. Both made 1-of-2 from the line on the next possession to start a string of 10 consecutive Miami points, capped by a Wade three just over the midpoint, that put its lead at 94-80.

The Heat's advantage fluctuated between 14 and 11 points for the next several minutes until the Nuggets attempted one final surge.

Consecutive Smith baskets and a Wilson Chandler jumper cut the Miami lead to 99-94 with 42.3 ticks remaining, and after James made a jumper Gallinari added a pair from the line to keep the game close.

Gallinari's free throws came with 13.5 seconds left on the clock, and forced to foul, the Nuggets then sent Bosh to the line. Bosh proceeded to make the free throws, though, and all the Nuggets could do was add a Lawson driving layup just before the buzzer, accounting for the final margin.

Miami opened the game on a 10-0 run, six from Wade, and its lead reached 25-9 with consecutive James baskets around four minutes remaining.

The Nuggets cut their deficit with seven straight points in the final two minutes, but a James jumper with 20.6 ticks left gave the Heat a 29-21 lead after one.

The Heat took a 56-47 lead into the break after a back-and-forth second and held a 79-71 advantage entering the fourth.

Game Notes

Bibby connected on 4-of-8 from long range and finished with 14 points...Miami made 25-of-29 from the line...The Heat committed 12 turnovers that the Nuggets turned into 19 points...Chandler finished with 12 points and Nene added 10 points in the loss.