Denver came out the gate in attack mode. The Nuggets started the game on a 16-4 (including a run of 8-0) in the first five minutes of the game. Attacking Miami with little hesitation, the Nuggets were determined to get to the rim.. Arron Afflalo play form the mid-range was a catalyst as he looked like Michael Jordan in his prime in the post.
The Denver's rim defense was extremely active and solid, curbing Miami from scoring inside. It didn't last long. Denver fell lax in the latter part of the quarter, Miami charged back behind speedy point guard Norris Cole's penetration and dishing. (he had three assists in a row to stop the bleeding). Miami ended the quarter on a 17-6 run.
After another slow start, Shawne Williams's and Miami's shooting kept the Heat in the game. The Heat moved the ball well enough to slow down Denver's defense. Denver was losing a lot of the loose ball battles. The Nuggets weren't helping with their three point attempts (see: J.J. Hickson….). A 15-8 run by Miami at the end of the quarter pulled the into a tie at 48 going into the half.
Denver's opportunistic defense began to create offense for them early, they opened the quarter on a 7-0 run. The Heat began to wear down as they stopped moving the ball and were forced into a ton of outside shots. Denver started looking like the fresher team. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh where a combined 8-24 in the quarter.
We also finally had an Erick Green sighting. He dropped eight points late in the quarter on some very heady mid-range shots, particularly off the pick and roll. Denver outscored Miami 31-14 in the quarter.
It was all downhill from there. Miami missed four shots and committed four turnovers in the first six minutes of the quarter, only scoring one field goal. The lead grew to 25 points and the Denver bench came in. Green was absolutely nasty off the pick and roll in the mid-range area, and Gary Harris was a pest on the defensive end. Hopefully this was a good enough audition to land them real minutes in future games.