104 - 117 Final
  for this game

Nuggets roll, hand Heat third straight loss

Jan 14, 2012 - 6:54 AM Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Ty Lawson had 24 points and nine assists, leading the Nuggets to an empathic 117-104 win over the suddenly-beatable Miami Heat on Friday.

Nene added 17 points and 12 rebounds while both Rudy Fernandez and Al Harrington scored 15 for the Nuggets, winners of two straight.

The Heat, meanwhile, concluded a five-game road trip with a season-high three straight losses. LeBron James scored 35 points while Chris Bosh finished with 17 and eight boards. Dwyane Wade had 12 points before departing in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury.

Much has been made of Miami's inability to close games since James and Bosh joined Wade in South Beach. James in particular was heavily criticized for a lack of late-game production during last season's six-game NBA Finals' loss to Dallas.

This season's 8-1 start temporarily quelled the criticism, but consecutive overtime losses -- to the Warriors on Tuesday and the Clippers a day later -- re-ignited the familiar rumblings.

On Friday, though, the Heat were undone early in the fourth, dispelling the need for a late-game test of mettle. A back-and-forth contest for three quarters, the final period gave way to a Denver rout, as the Nuggets opened with a 9-0 run to take a 95-81 lead.

The Nuggets continued to surge, as Andre Miller converted a three-point play to make it 98-82 with 8:36. Wade left less than a minute later after spraining his ankle while fighting for a loose ball. He was helped to the locker room, but the game had already been decided, as Denver extended its lead to as many as 19 down the stretch.

Game Notes

Miami defeated Atlanta and New Jersey to open its road trip...The teams entered Friday as the top-two scoring squads in the league, with the Heat averaging 106.4 points per game and Denver pouring in 103.6 ppg.