The Denver Nuggets host the Miami Heat tonight in an exciting NBA matchup between two strong playoff contenders in the Western and Eastern conferences. With star players like Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo facing off, this game promises electrifying performances and clutch moments down to the final buzzer.
As the game unfolds, stay up-to-date on all the live scoring action and key highlights with this continuously updated article.
First Quarter Highlights
- Nikola Jokic wins opening tip-off – The Nuggets center tapped the ball to Jamal Murray to start the game. Jokic will look to dominate the paint early.
- Jimmy Butler hits a mid-range jumper – Butler sinks the first basket of the game with a smooth 15-foot jump shot. He leads all scorers with 2 points.
- Aaron Gordon slams down a dunk – Gordon throws down a powerful one-handed jam off a nice assist from Jokic. The Nuggets answer back to tie 2-2.
- Bam Adebayo with a monster block – Adebayo swats away Jokic’s shot attempt with authority! The Heat defense is fired up.
- Jamal Murray knocks down a 3-pointer – Murray drains a triple to put the Nuggets up 7-4 halfway through the quarter.
- End of 1st Quarter Score: Nuggets 28, Heat 24 – Jokic leads all scorers with 12 points. Butler has 10 for Miami. The game has featured fast-paced offense so far.
Second Quarter Highlights
- Tyler Herro heating up from deep – The Sixth Man of the Year winner has connected on three 3-pointers early in the quarter. He’s keeping the Heat close.
- Michael Porter Jr. throws down vicious dunk – Porter Jr. cut baseline and rocked the rim with a powerful two-handed jam. He has 8 points for Denver.
- Kyle Lowry leaves game with injury – The Heat veteran appeared to injure his hamstring driving to the basket. This could be a huge loss for Miami.
- Adebayo picks up 3rd foul – More bad news for the Heat, as Adebayo is forced to the bench after picking up his 3rd personal foul with 4 minutes left in the half.
- Murray and Jokic team up for alley-oop – The Nuggets stars connect for a crowd-pleasing lob finish at the rim. Denver’s lead is up to 12 now.
- Halftime Score: Nuggets 61, Heat 47 – Despite 21 points from Herro, the Heat trail at the break. Jokic (19 points), Murray (15) and Porter Jr. (12) lead the Nuggets.
Halftime Analysis and Predictions
With a 14-point halftime lead, the Nuggets appear in control. However, the Heat are far from out of this game, especially if Lowry can return and Adebayo can avoid further foul trouble in the second half.
Keys for the Nuggets:
- Keep feeding Jokic in the post. Miami has no answer for him down low.
- Make open 3-pointers. With the Heat focused on Jokic, Denver’s shooters will get good looks.
- Limit turnovers. The Heat feed off opponents’ mistakes to get out in transition.
Keys for the Heat:
- Unleash Tyler Herro as the primary scorer. He’s found his rhythm from outside.
- Get Adebayo more involved offensively. Without him, they lack interior offense.
- Turn up the defensive intensity. Forcing turnovers could lead to easy transition buckets they need.
Prediction: The Nuggets should be able to maintain control of this game and win by a final score of something like 112-102. However, don’t expect Miami to go down without a fight. Herro and Adebayo will keep them competitive to the final whistle.
Third Quarter Highlights
- Adebayo back on the floor to start 2nd half – The Heat big man avoided further foul trouble. His presence is badly needed on both ends.
- Max Strus providing a spark off Heat bench – Strus has come in and hit two quick three-pointers, keeping Miami in striking distance down 11.
- Murray hits a step-back three in Butler’s face – The Nuggets guard created space with a lethal step-back and drained the jumper over Butler’s outstretched arms. He’s got 23 points.
- Jokic picks up 4th foul on offensive charge – Adebayo drew the offensive foul on Jokic, sending the Nuggets big man to the bench with 4 fouls. Big momentum shift.
- Adebayo throws down emphatic dunk to cut lead to 6 – He exploded to the rim off the pick-and-roll and posterized Gordon with a powerful slam. Adebayo is fired up!
- End of 3rd Quarter Score: Nuggets 88, Heat 82 – The Heat have stormed back into this game behind Adebayo’s 10-point quarter. Jokic sits with 4 fouls for Denver. It’s a nail-biter headed to the 4th!
Fourth Quarter Highlights
- Jokic returns with 6 minutes remaining – The Nuggets desperately need their MVP back against Miami’s surging comeback. Can Jokic close this out?
- Gordon fouls out – With 5 minutes left, Gordon picks up his 6th foul, dealing a blow to the Nuggets’ frontcourt rotation.
- Butler hits go-ahead jumper with 1:37 left – Butler backed down the smaller Murray and swished a turnaround fadeaway to put Miami up 97-96. Crunch time!
- Jokic answers with hook shot – The Joker showed off his touch with a right-handed hook to regain the lead for Denver, 98-97.
- Herro misses potential go-ahead 3 with 25 seconds remaining – His three from the wing rimmed out with the Heat down 1. Murray iced the game with clutch free throws.
Final Score: Nuggets 103, Heat 98
Despite almost losing a 14-point halftime lead, the Nuggets held on thanks to their MVP Jokic down the stretch. Butler and Adebayo kept the Heat within striking distance until the final minute. It came down to the last possession!
Key Stats and Players of the Game
Nikola Jokic – 28 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists
Jokic showed why he’s the reigning MVP, dominating down low and coming up clutch in the 4th after being in foul trouble.
Jimmy Butler – 24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists
Butler did all he could to spark Miami’s comeback attempt, scoring big buckets in the final period.
Bam Adebayo – 22 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks
Adebayo was a force defensively with 5 blocks and ignited the Heat’s offense in the 2nd half.
Jamal Murray – 25 points, 4 assists
Murray provided consistent scoring and nailed big shots to hold off Miami’s rally.
- Jokic showed he can dominate a game even in limited minutes due to foul trouble. His post scoring and playmaking are invaluable for Denver.
- The Heat proved how resilient they are by erasing a big deficit thanks to Adebayo’s revival and Herro’s sharpshooting.
- Denver’s supporting cast (Gordon, Porter Jr.) stepped up to complement Jokic and Murray enough to earn the tough win.
- Miami ran out of gas in the final minutes after expending so much energy trying to come back in the 2nd half.
This was an playoff intensity battle that gives both teams confidence going forward. The Nuggets showed they can close, while the Heat know they can rally against elite competition. An intense, down-to-the-wire finish exemplified the quality of these two championship hopefuls.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat Game
Q: What channel is the Nuggets vs Heat game on tonight?
A: The game will be nationally televised on TNT. Tip-off time is scheduled for 7:00pm ET.
Q: How can I live stream the Denver vs Miami game online?
A: You can live stream the TNT telecast through services like Hulu Live, YouTube TV, Sling TV or DIRECTV Stream (subscription required). The game can also be streamed through the Watch TNT app or TNTdrama.com with a cable provider login.
Q: Who are the announced commentators for this Nuggets-Heat matchup?
A: The lead TNT broadcast team of Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analysis) and Allie LaForce (sideline reporter) will be courtside calling the game.
Q: What is each team’s record entering this game?
A: The Nuggets come in at 12-7 and are tied for 1st in the Northwest division. The Heat are 10-11 but have won three of their last four games.
Q: Does this game have any playoff implications?
A: Yes, both teams are competing for prime playoff positioning. The Nuggets want to maintain their top 4 seed in the West. The Heat are currently 11th in the East but are within striking distance of a home playoff spot.
Q: When do these teams play again?
A: The Heat will travel to Denver for their second and final regular season matchup on January 27, 2023. Each team will look to earn a potential tie-breaking win in the series tonight.
Player Stats and Analysis
Digging deeper into the box score and individual performances:
- Shot an efficient 10/16 from the field. Did most of his damage in the post.
- Added 8 assists showcasing his elite passing ability. Could have had more if not limited by fouls.
- Was +12 during his 28 minutes on the court. The Nuggets outscored the Heat significantly with Jokic playing.
- Went 4/8 from 3-point range. His outside shooting was critical for creating space for Jokic inside.
- Took on the challenge of guarding Butler down the stretch. Played solid defense despite giving up size.
- Committed only 1 turnover in 35 minutes. Took care of the ball well.
- Attempted 10 free throws, making 8 of them. Lived at the line in the second half.
- Was +9 during his 36 minutes on the court. The Heat made their big run with Butler spearheading them.
- Shot 5/11 from the field. Struggled inside the arc but hit some timely mid-range shots.
- Had 5 blocks to go along with 2 steals. Was Miami’s defensive anchor.
- Shot 10/16 from the field for an efficient 22 points. Provided vital interior scoring.
- Grabbed 7 offensive rebounds to help the Heat gain extra possessions. Dominated the glass.
Here are some additional key play-by-play highlights from the game:
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Q1, 6:34 – Jokic swats away Butler’s layup – The Nuggets MVP erupted for a massive rejection of Butler’s drive to the rim. Denver leads 16-9.
Q2, 3:22 – Murray hits a buzzer-beater 3 to end the half – Murray launched in a deep three that rattled around the rim before finally dropping as time expired. Nuggets lead 61-47 at halftime.
Q3, 9:18 – Adebayo denies Jokic for huge block – As Jokic went up for a hook shot in close, Adebayo met him at the peak and swatted it away. Adebayo let out a loud roar after the crowd-igniting rejection.
Q4, 2:43 – Herro nails a contested corner three to tie game – With the shot clock winding down, Herro sank a clutch three from the corner with Porter Jr. all over him to tie it 94-94.
Q4, 1:12 – Butler misses go-ahead free throw – With Miami down 101-100, Butler split a pair of free throws. It was uncharacteristic miss from the 90%+ foul shooter.
Best Highlights and Top Plays
Looking back at the most exciting and impressive highlights of the night:
- Adebayo’s massive rejections on both Jokic and Gordon
- Murray’s multiple long three-pointers with defenders in his face
- Jokic artfully finishing hook shots over outstretched arms
- Butler rising up for the go-ahead jumper in crunch time
- Gordon throwing down two huge dunks in traffic
- Adebayo’s rim-rocking slam over Gordon that ignited Miami’s rally
- Herro staying red-hot with multiple contested three-pointers
- Jokic’s fullcourt outlet pass leading to a Porter Jr. transition dunk
It was a game filled with highlight-reel plays from both teams. The superstar matchups and intensity of a close game brought out the best in the Nuggets and Heat’s athletic playmakers all night.