MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Heat stayed hot at home, beating the Denver Nuggets 108-91 on Friday night.
Dwyane Wade scored 22 points, Goran Dragic added 18 as the team clamped down in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.
Luol Deng scored 15, Hassan Whiteside added 14 and Mario Chalmers had 10 for Miami, which won its third straight game – its longest such streak since starting the season 3-0.
Michael Beasley added nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Heat.
Kenneth Faried scored 20 for Denver, which got 16 apiece from Jusef Nurkic and Randy Foye, 13 from Wilson Chandler and a 10-point, 12-assist night from Ty Lawson.
The Nuggets missed 13 of their first 14 shots from the field in the fourth – plus their first six tries from the foul line in that quarter. Miami wasn’t much better, but even 10 points in the first 9 minutes of the final period was enough for the Heat to pull away.
The Heat have now won a season-best four straight at home, and are 7-1 in Miami since starting 10-17 in their own building.
Miami used an early 13-0 run to erase a double-digit deficit, and kept the lead for basically the entirety of the final three quarters. Beasley’s first action came with 5:20 left in the opening quarter, with Miami down by 10. He played the rest of the half, and the Heat outscored the Nuggets by 23 points in that span.
Beasley had nine points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists before intermission – just the second time in his career that he posted such a stat line in any half.
Miami would lead by 15 at one point in the third, before Denver got within five. The Heat’s lead was 87-78 going into the fourth, and that’s when Denver’s offense vanished.
Nuggets: Danilo Gallinari was held out, resting a sore foot. It was the second time this week he didn’t play the second night of a back-to-back. … The Nuggets started 2-1 in road games against East teams. They’re 0-11 in those since. … Denver led 23-22 after one quarter, after being outscored in the opening period in each of their previous six road games.
Heat: Friday was Heat President Pat Riley’s 70th birthday. … Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger sat courtside. … Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spent part of his morning participating in Lauren Book’s annual 1,500-mile walk through Florida to raise awareness about child sexual abuse and empower survivors.
Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt, whose team witnessed James Harden’s 50-point, 10-rebound game in Houston on Thursday night, paid Wade a compliment. “Dwyane Wade was the first to do what Harden is doing now,” Hunt said. “Harden is the latest version of Dwyane Wade.”
Miami starts a four-game, six-day trip in Oklahoma City on Sunday, every game with major postseason implications. The Thunder are fighting for a Western Conference spot; Milwaukee (Tuesday) and Boston (Wednesday) are among the teams jostling for position alongside Miami in the East; and Atlanta (Friday) is trying for the league’s best overall record.
Nuggets: At Orlando on Sunday.
Heat: At Oklahoma City on Sunday.
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