EditorsNote: revises fourth graf
Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Malik Beasley got hot in the fourth quarter and finished with 23 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat 103-87 on Monday night.
Monte Morris scored 17 points, and Paul Millsap had nine points and 10 rebounds in his return to the lineup for Denver. Millsap, who missed the previous three games due to ankle soreness, played 20 minutes off the bench.
The Nuggets ended a three-game losing streak and swept a two-game season series from Miami for the first time since 2008-09.
Justise Winslow had 15 points, and James Johnson scored 14 for the Heat. Miami’s Josh Richardson had 12 points and eight assists a night after he scored 37 against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif.
The game was close in the third quarter until Denver took control with a 16-0 run.
After Richardson’s layup pulled Miami within 59-57 with 9:01 left in the period, the Nuggets got hot. Mason Plumlee, who finished with 11 points and three blocked shots, got it going with a short jumper and a dunk. Murray and Will Barton each made a pair of 3-pointers to put Denver ahead 75-57.
Richardson ended Miami’s scoreless drought of 4:13 with a 3-pointer, and the Heat soon got within 12. Denver led 83-70 going into the fourth quarter.
Beasley scored the first five points of the final period on two free throws and a 3-pointer. After Miami scored four straight, Beasley hit two more 3-pointers to push the Nuggets’ lead to 94-74 with 7:25 left in the game.
Beasley hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 2:15 left for his 14th point of the fourth, restoring a 20-point lead for the Nuggets.
Denver led 54-49 at halftime despite not getting any scoring from Jamal Murray. It was the 16th time this season the Nuggets have held an opponent to less than 50 points in the first half, and they improved to 15-1 in those games.
Murray finished with 10 points.
—Field Level Media