NBA Basketball

106
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Miami 31 18 30 27 106
Denver 26 34 36 27 123
123
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0022:00 ET8:00 PM CT1:00 , April 14, 2021
Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 4,017

Nuggets look to overcome loss of Jamal Murray vs. Heat

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets

  1. The Nuggets won the first meeting between these teams this season, 109-82, on January 27. That's the fewest points that Denver has allowed in any game this season. Miami scored only 12 points in the first quarter of that game, tied for the third lowest total in the first period for any NBA team this season.
  2. Over the last two seasons, the Nuggets are 69-38 (.645) when Jamal Murray has played, and they have allowed an average of 108.5 points per game. The Nuggets are 11-9 (.550) in games that Murray has missed over that time, allowing 115.1 points per game without him in the lineup.
  3. The Nuggets lost their last home game on Sunday versus Boston (105-87), ending a six-game winning streak in Denver. They made only 36.4 percent of their shots, their lowest field-goal percentage in a home game since May 1, 2019 against Portland in the playoffs (34.7%).
  4. The Heat lost to the Suns last night, 106-86. It was the seventh time that Miami was held under 90 points this season, the third highest total in the NBA, behind the Cavaliers (8) and Knicks (8).
  5. Jimmy Butler has made at least half his shots in all four of his games after having played the day before this season.
  6. Aaron Gordon has made 56.9 percent of his field-goal attempts in nine games for Denver, after he made only 43.7 percent of his shots in 25 games for Orlando this season.

The Denver Nuggets were considered a serious title contender as recently as last week.

The Nuggets had won eight in a row and even acquired Aaron Gordon, so it looked like their future was bright.

Things have changed dramatically for the Nuggets, who have lost their past two games and sit in the fourth spot in the Western Conference. More importantly, they also lost Jamal Murray to a torn ACL in his left knee.

Murray, 24, suffered the injury with less than a minute remaining in Denver's 116-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday. His knee buckled as he drove toward the basket, and he fell to the court, immediately clutching at his left knee and then pounding the court in pain.

That is the backdrop for the Nuggets when they host the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

"Everybody knows Jamal is a huge, huge piece to this team alongside Nikola (Jokic)," Denver backup point guard Monte Morris said. "Just his leadership out there. He does everything. Seeing him go down like that, it's never nothing that you can even think was going to happen. He lifts so much. His body's strong. It's a touchy subject. I don't even like really speaking about injuries."

Murray averaged 21.2 points a game and was half of an effective pick-and-roll combination with Jokic. It's expected that Facundo Campazzo will see an even bigger role, and there is a possibility the Nuggets will sign another guard to the roster.

Denver will lean even more about Jokic, a strong MVP candidate, as well as Michael Porter Jr. and Gordon. Murray had missed four games before returning Monday night, and the Nuggets won three of those, so facing Miami without him won't be a new experience.

"He just came back," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said following Monday's loss. "He was gone for four days. His knee's been bothering him. He took those four games to try to get right. First game back, obviously. It's just an awful feeling."

The Heat have struggled to find the consistency that spurred them to the NBA Finals last fall. Miami has dealt with injuries all season, with its top players missing multiple games. Leading scorer Jimmy Butler has been sidelined for 15 games this season, and Goran Dragic has missed 19 for various reasons.

Dragic had 12 points in 28 minutes off the bench in Miami's 106-86 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. It's possible Dragic will sit out the second night of the back-to-back set.

"We'll see," Dragic said before Tuesday night's game regarding his status for Wednesday. "We still need to discuss that, so I don't know. I'm going to be available if he needs me. But I don't know yet."

The Heat had won six of their previous seven before getting soundly defeated by the Suns. Miami is in the midst of playing eight games in 14 days, with Wednesday serving as one of two back-to-back sets during that stretch.

Denver won the first meeting between the teams this season, 109-82, in Miami on Jan. 27.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 14, 2021

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