Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/3

Game 1: Saturday, December 3rd
Game 2: Friday, December 9th

Nuggets 100

(11-9, 3-6 away)

Heat 92

(10-10, 7-3 home)

Coverage: ALT

7:30 PM ET, December 9, 2005

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 15 27 25 33100
MIA 13 30 24 2592

Top Performers

Denver: C. Anthony 40 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

Miami: D. Wade 37 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

'Melo's 40 helps Nuggets hand Heat fourth straight loss

MIAMI (AP) -- Everyone in the arena seemed to watch the flight of Antoine Walker's 3-point try with 33 seconds left. Apparently, no one wearing a Miami Heat uniform saw Greg Buckner going the other way.

Fortunately for Denver, Andre Miller did.

He grabbed the rebound of Walker's miss and found Buckner for an easy layup that put the Nuggets ahead to stay in their 100-92 win over the struggling Heat on Friday night.

Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade put on an offensive showcase, each finishing with a season high in points: Anthony 40, Wade 37. But the Nuggets simply executed better than the Heat down the stretch, finishing the game on a 12-0 run that sent Miami to a fourth straight loss and dropped its record to a mediocre 10-10.

"You give up a runout to lose the game, you deserve to lose," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Plain and simple, you deserve to lose. Nobody should feel sorry for you or nothing else. ... If you haven't learned things like that over your time in the league, you're not experienced. You're just old."

Anthony was 13-of-30 from the field and 13-of-14 from the foul line, finishing one point shy of his career high. Marcus Camby had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Nuggets, who opened a six-game road trip.

"It was definitely fun to watch. ... Melo was spectacular," Camby said.

Wade was 10-of-23 from the floor and 17-of-21 from the line and added 10 rebounds for the Heat, who led by four with 2:01 left but wound up losing to the Nuggets for the second time in less than a week. Denver won 101-99 on its home floor last Saturday.

"It was a great game with two great players," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "When we went down four we kept playing, kept staying with it. Fortunately we figured out how to make Dwyane Wade miss a shot."

Walker had 17 points for Miami, which got 13 from Gary Payton -- the 1,000th double-digit scoring effort of his career, most among active NBA players.

Payton had eight points in a 1:34 stretch of the fourth, including a layup following Wade's steal to give Miami a 91-88 lead with 2:35 left. James Posey added a free throw for a 92-88 edge 34 seconds later.

But it was wasted. Camby's jumper with 47 seconds left drew Denver into a 92-all tie; after Walker missed the 3-pointer, Buckner's easy layup helped seal Miami's fate in a hotly contested game, one with 16 ties and 23 lead changes.

"Stan's always been a guy who calls it like he sees it, and he's calling it like he sees it," Heat forward Udonis Haslem said. "Nobody's going to feel bad for us."

Buckner finished with 14 points and Miller had 12 points and eight assists for the Nuggets, who won for the third time in nine road games this season.

With Wade and Anthony carrying their respective clubs, the teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 67.

Anthony had 16 of Denver's 25 third-quarter points, including a jumper with 5.2 seconds left that tied the game for the 10th time. Wade scored 14 consecutive Heat points over a seven-minute stretch of the third, ensuring that Miami never trailed by more than four in the period.

"It was fun competition out there, him doing what he's doing and me doing what I'm doing," Anthony said. "At the end of the game, it's all fun and games."

That's easy to say after a win.

Wade saw things a bit differently in a glum Heat locker room.

"A lot of the games we've lost, we've been right in there," Wade said. "It's been down to the wire. So far, early in the season, the luck hasn't went our way. It's went the other way. Sixty-two games left. We're not down on ourselves."

Miami played virtually the entire second half without a center. Alonzo Mourning was ejected after picking up his second technical foul 25 seconds after halftime, and neither Michael Doleac nor Earl Barron -- Miami's backup centers -- played in the game. Plus, Shaquille O'Neal missed his 18th game with a sprained ankle.

"Referees are human. I'm human," Mourning said. "I made a mistake. I've got to learn to control my emotions out there, regardless if I feel there's some discrepancy in the calls. Bottom line is, they've got the whistle. They've got the final say."

Game notes

Anthony took 19 shots by halftime, exceeding his total from 14 of the season's first 18 games. ... Both teams missed starters -- Kenyon Martin for Denver, Jason Williams for Miami -- with knee tendinitis. ... Magic Johnson sat next to Heat president Pat Riley in the stands. ... Walker was in a 4-for-32 slump before a 5-for-5 second quarter. He also hit his first shot of the second half. ... Wade's previous season high was 33 points against the Knicks. Anthony's season high was 35 against the Clippers.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 100 92
FGM-FGA 33-81 (.407) 32-76 (.421)
3PM-3PA 3-12 (.250) 6-18 (.333)
FTM-FTA 31-35 (.886) 22-29 (.759)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-45 11-41
Assists 17 18
Turnovers 14 16
Steals 5 7
Blocks 3 5
Fast Break Points 19 17
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 25 (4/0)
Largest Lead 8 4

Top Performers

Carmelo Anthony Anthony
Points: 40
Reb: 4
Ast: 3
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Dwyane Wade Wade
Points: 37
Reb: 10
Ast: 3
Stl: 2
Blk: 1