When you come close to defeating the vaunted Miami Heat, that loss will naturally be difficult to take. For the Denver Nuggets, the series of events in the final minute of this game was especially excruciating. In the end the Heat won 97-94, extending Denver’s losing streak to seven games and pushing their record below .500 for the year.
Having pulled within one at 93-92, the Nuggets had Wilson Chandler guarding LeBron James. The shot clock wound down to its final seconds, and as James made his move, Darrell Arthur left his man to help. James found that man for a wide open three-pointer, and he drilled it.
That open shooter? Michael Beasley. Yes, that Michael Beasley.
Then, after Ray Allen inexplicably missed a free throw that would have put the game on ice, Ty Lawson took a wild and contested three over Chris Bosh. Yet the Nuggets got one more chance, with the ball off Miami and 1.8 seconds left. Then, in perhaps the biggest letdown of all, they did not get their final shot. J.J. Hickson failed to inbound the ball, and so Denver’s efforts ended with a clunk and a five second call.
James, who was a game-time decision for this one, had a typical LeBron game: 26 points, six boards and 10 assists. Lawson led the Nuggets with 26 points in the losing effort.