Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/29

Game 1: Tuesday, January 29th
Game 2: Saturday, March 16th

Heat 100

(16-28, 9-15 away)

Nuggets 94


Coverage: FSRM

7:00 PM ET, January 29, 2002

Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 25 25 15 24100
DEN 23 16 29 2194

Top Performers

Miami: E. Jones 37 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl, 4 Blk

Denver: R. LaFrentz 30 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 6 Blk

Mourning misses second game with flu

DENVER (AP) -- The Denver Nuggets didn't seem to notice that Eddie Jones was having a good game until it was too late.

Jones scored a career-high 37 points, including a crucial three-point play in overtime, as the Miami Heat beat the Nuggets 100-94 in overtime Tuesday night.

Jones dunked the ball and made the free throw after drawing a foul to put the Heat up 94-92 at 2:03 in overtime. He also made a layup to tie it 89-89 at the end of regulation, facing little resistance from Nuggets defenders.

"He's strong and he is getting by people," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "I was surprised tonight that they let him go. I think Eddie, once he is alone, can get there."

Denver and Miami were scoreless in the first 2:40 of overtime until LaPhonso Ellis had a running hook. Raef LaFrentz responded with a 3-pointer to give the Nuggets a 92-91 lead.

After Jones' driving dunk, Ryan Bowen fouled Brian Grant, who made the two free throws. Calbert Cheaney scored to get the Nuggets within two, but Kendall Gill drained two jumpers, the last with six seconds left.

"This was a lack of execution," Nuggets coach Mike Evans said. "We are just not making shots when we need them. That was the difference."

Heat center Alonzo Mourning, selected as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, missed his second straight game with flulike symptoms.

Jones had 24 of his points in the first half, leading Miami on a 16-5 run to end the half with a 50-39 lead. He also had 13 of Miami's first 15 to start the game.

But the Nuggets came back in the third, holding Jones scoreless. They went on a 18-4 run including 12 straight to make it 65-61 at 1:30 in the third.

"The guys did a good job of shutting him down in the third quarter and we thought he was done," Nuggets guard Nick Van Exel said. "A couple of open shots in the fourth quarter got him going again back into his rhythm."

Raef LaFrentz led the Nuggets with 30 points, including six 3-pointers to tie a career record.

Neither team pulled away in the fourth, trading the lead 10 times.

The Heat regained the lead 71-70 at 10:17 but Denver again pulled ahead after Avery Johnson hit two foul shots, and Voshon Lenard made a 3 to go up 75-71 with 9:17 left.

Van Exel, who had 15 points, made a 3-pointer over Grant with 19 seconds left to put the Nuggets up 89-87. After Jones tied it, Van Exel missed a jumper in the final seconds in regulation.

Jones found his shot after struggling in a 101-89 loss to Utah on Monday night, when he scored 12 points on 3 for 16 shooting and had four fouls.

"I was just trying to get it done," Jones said. "I was upset with myself from last night for getting myself in foul trouble and pretty much taking our team out of it."

When it wasn't Jones, the Nuggets were undone by their free-throw shooting. Miami was 17-of-17 from the free-throw line, while Denver went 14-for-23.

"We didn't shoot well from the free-throw line, and we did not make the shots that we should have," Evans said. "You have to make those clutch free throws down the stretch."

It was Miami's 12th straight win over Denver.

Game notes
The Nuggets' losing streak to Miami dates to a Denver win on March 3, 1995. It is Miami's longest current winning streak against any other team. ... Denver G Tariq Abdul-Wahad sat out the game. He is still recovering from surgery on his left knee. ... Denver is 0-of-10 when it had two or more days off between games. The Nuggets last played Thursday. ... Miami was 5-23 on Dec. 30. It has since won 11 of 16 since. ... Abdul-Wahad's alma mater, San Jose State, will retire his No. 3 jersey Saturday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 100 94
FGM-FGA 40-90 (.444) 36-81 (.444)
3PM-3PA 3-10 (.300) 8-17 (.471)
FTM-FTA 17-17 (1.000) 14-23 (.609)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-41 12-42
Assists 20 20
Turnovers 13 16
Steals 9 7
Blocks 8 8
Fast Break Points 6 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 18 (0/1)

Top Performers

Eddie Jones Jones
Points: 37
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 4
Blk: 4
Raef LaFrentz LaFrentz
Points: 30
Reb: 7
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 6