Playing in their first game this season without LeBron James (sprained left ankle), the Heat suffered their worst loss of the season, a 130-102 setback to the Nuggets. Their worst previous loss was a 93-77 defeat at the hands of the Pacers November 22.
WadeDwyane Wade struggled as the Denver defense focused on him throughout the night. Including points scored off of his assists, Wade created 35.6 points per game entering Thursday, but the Nuggets limited Wade to just 24 points created (16 points, eight points off of his assists).
Meanwhile, seven Nuggets scored in double figures, led by 28 from J.R. Smith, who hit a season-high eight 3-pointers.
The Heat have lost nine straight games in Denver.
During their two-game losing skid, the Heat have allowed 120.5 points per game. In the 22 games prior to that -- when they recorded a 21-1 mark -- they allowed just 90.5 points per game.
OTHER NOTES FROM AROUND THE NBA:
• Kevin Love had 35 points and 11 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 109-97 win over the Wizards. It is the seventh time this season Love has topped 30 points and 10 rebounds. The only player with more 30-10 games is Amar'e Stoudemire with eight.
• Russell Westbrook had 32 points to go with 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his fourth career triple-double. Since Westbrook's rookie season in 2008-09 only four players have more triple-doubles: LeBron James (14), Chris Paul (seven), Jason Kidd (six) and Rajon Rondo (six).
• Dwight Howard tied a season high with 39 points, including 17-for-20 from the free throw line. The 17 made free throws ties a career high.