The Nuggets obtained their groove again. Their swagger, too.
Denver used a 16-Zero run within the third quarter and monster nights from Nikola Jokic, Malik Beasley and Monte Morris to whup the Miami Warmth at their very own recreation — the 3-ball — in a 103-87 victory Monday night time on the Pepsi Heart, snapping a three-game shedding streak and holding on to the No. 2 slot within the Western Convention with one recreation remaining earlier than the All-Star break.
Miami got here in tied for ninth within the league in treys per contest (11.6), whereas the Nuggets (38-18) ranked 17th in 3-pointers allowed (11.2) after a winless three-game highway journey that noticed them surrender a median of 15 3s to Detroit, Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
A return to the Mile Excessive Metropolis — it was the Nuggets’ first look on the Pepsi Heart since Feb. 1 — flipped that script, because the hosts racked up their 24th win in 28 house contests.
The Warmth (25-30) was restricted to only 9 makes from past the arc on 33 makes an attempt, setting the tone for the primary Nuggets sweep of Miami because the 2008-09 season.
The third quarter proved to be the keeper, on each ends of the ground. Mason Plumlee offered the spark early within the second half by swatting Hassan Whiteside’s shot into the Nuggets bench with 8:27 to go within the interval. A minute later, Plumlee’s two-handed slam off the alley-oop put the Nuggets again up six, at 63-57, and stored the run stepping into earnest.
The Nuggets linked on 4-of-9 from past the arc within the third interval, whereas the Warmth was 1-for-5.
For those who like your ball YMCA rec type, the primary half was for you. Free balls. Crazy passes. Loopier pictures. Missed dunks. Our bodies everywhere in the ground.
Coming off an 0-Three highway swing, coach Michael Malone burdened protection — or a return to some semblance of it — publicly and privately the earlier two days. So when the Nuggets turned it over twice within the first 47 seconds and noticed the Warmth race to a 4-Zero edge, the coach wasn’t happy, calling timeout to instantly learn his crew the riot act.
His crew obtained the message, loud and clear. The Nuggets, who host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night time to complete off the pre-All Star Sport a part of the season, closed out the primary interval on a 13-6 run due to 13 factors off the bench from Morris in that quarter alone.
The hosts couldn’t catch a break — or a bucket — for a lot of the second quarter till the ultimate three minutes of the body. That’s when Jokic shifted into one other gear, dropping eight of his 23 factors within the final 2:01 of the primary half, a run capped by a 26-foot financial institution shot with 3.2 seconds left on the clock that gave the Nuggets a 54-49 cushion on the break.
When the Nuggets visited South Florida on Jan. 8, the Warmth linked on simply 8-of-31 makes an attempt from past the arc and shot 45.Eight % from the ground as Denver toughed out a 103-99 win. Monday? New area. Identical story.