Most of the game wasn’t competitive. Denver came out on the attack and ran up the score, leading after the first quarter 26 to 12. The offense was well-balanced as both the starters and reserves got in on the scoring action. Will Barton had a great first quarter and really got the sparked the offense early and Gary Harris facilitated as well, finishing with seven assists.
Things got scary in the third quarter as Denver suffered a huge relapse. The Heat took advantage, outscoring the Nuggets by 16 points during the frame. Early in the fourth, Miami cut the lead to seven points - but not before MPJ had anything to say about it. After a so-so game up until that point, Porter remembered he was incredible at shooting the basketball. Bang, bang, bang and all of the sudden the Nuggets were up by nearly 20 again.
For good measure, Malone put in Murray and Jokic again. The Nuggets held the lead, the deep reserves came in (shouts to Markus Howard) and Denver’s win streak extends to 5 games, and are 4-0 on this road trip.
It’s unfortunate that in a 27 point win Jokic and Murray still had to play 35 minutes each. The third quarter was hilariously awful for Denver, but they were able to rally and put Miami away swiftly. Against a better (healthier) team such a quarter would’ve been disastrous.
Nikola Jokic made pretty quick work of Bam Adebayo. The Joker led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds along the way, notching his 17th double-double of the year. He only had three assists, though. Oh well. Murray had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists of his own. Not a bad night.
The Nuggets finish off the road trip on Friday in San Antonio. Will they make it a perfect road trip? No reason they shouldn’t be able to.