Denver beats Miami 100-88 in an NBA Finals rematch and moves atop the Western Conference

Wed, Mar 13, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Denver beats Miami 100-88 in an NBA Finals rematch and moves atop the Western Conference

MIAMI (AP) - Michael Porter Jr. scored 25 points, Aaron Gordon added 16 and the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets took sole possession of first place in the Western Conference standings with a 100-88 win over the sliding Miami Heat in a finals rematch on Wednesday night.

Jamal Murray scored 14 points and Nikola Jokic finished with 12 points, 14 rebounds and six assists for the Nuggets (46-20), who moved a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City (45-20) and a full game up on Minnesota (45-21) in the West race.

Denver is an NBA-best 10-1 since the All-Star break.

Bam Adebayo scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Miami. Jimmy Butler scored 15, Terry Rozier had 14 and Duncan Robinson added 11 for the Heat (35-30), who are now 2 1/2 games behind Orlando - a winner over Brooklyn on Wednesday - in the Southeast Division race.

The Heat have lost four straight and remain No. 8 in the Eastern Conference, playing again Wednesday without Tyler Herro (foot) and Kevin Love (heel).

Denver is 12-1 in its last 13 games against the Heat, including last season's NBA Finals, and has won seven consecutive games on Miami's home floor.

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Denver used a 15-0 run in the first quarter to build a double-digit lead, one that eventually reached 13 points in the opening period. The Nuggets led for all but 2:48 of the first half, but the Heat never trailed by more than eight in the second quarter.

And in the third, Miami finally - but briefly - reclaimed the lead. Former Nuggets center Thomas Bryant scored for a four-point lead late in the third, matching Miami's biggest edge of the night, but Denver responded with a 10-2 run and stayed ahead the rest of the way.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Visit San Antonio on Friday night.

Heat: Visit Detroit on Friday night, then again Sunday afternoon.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

TIM REYNOLDS Reynolds is the national basketball writer for The Associated Press. He's based in Miami, has covered the Heat since 2003 and has covered every Winter and Summer Olympics since 2002. twitter mailto "
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