When the Denver Nuggets dug themselves into a 10-point deficit after 12 minutes against the Miami Heat on Friday night, it looked as if Brian Shaw and company were on their way to fulfilling their destiny of falling in a road defeat. However, the Nuggets stormed back with a vengeance over the middle two quarters, outscoring the Heat by a staggering 24 points, and they were able to hold on for dear life in the 4th quarter in route to a 111-107 victory.
It was a highly balanced effort from Denver, and the Nuggets were led by the frontcourt duo of Kenneth Faried and reserve big man Darrell Arthur. The always energetic Faried scored a team-high 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 3 steals for Denver, and he wasn’t alone, as Arthur emerged from the bench with 18 points and 4 steals in just 24 minutes of game action.
On the Miami side, this was an unexpected loss, but the Heat didn’t have a disastrous performance by any means. As a team, the defending champs shot over 50% from the floor, and they were really only let down by a high turnover output (18) and the fact that Denver got to the line with repeated efficiency. LeBron James had a solid game (as always) with 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, but only Ray Allen (22 points including 5 threes off the bench) had what could be characterized as an above-average game.
This was arguably the best win of the season for Brian Shaw and the Nuggets, and it looks as if they may be turning the corner a bit, regardless of it being too little, too late for this season.