Dec 30, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets shooting guard Wilson Chandler (21) guards Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

James Leads As Heat Edge Nuggets, 97-94

In a very entertaining game, the Heat outlast the Denver Nuggets 97-94, to improve to 24-7 on the season.

For the Heat, birthday boy LeBron James led the way with 26 points and 10 assists, to go along with 6 rebounds. Chris Bosh added 17 points and 5 rebounds. Ray Allen contributed 13 points and a team-high 7 rebounds off the bench.

For the Nuggets, Ty Lawson led with 26 points and 7 assists. Wilson Chandler and Darrell Arthur both scored 13 points. JJ Hickson provided 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Heat fought back from a 9-point halftime deficit to make the game close, before the injury bug made the game much tougher than it possibly could have been. Dwyane Wade left the game early in the 3rd quarter with back spasms, after he collided with Jordan Hamilton. Later in the 3rd quarter, Norris Cole left the game after falling on his face while attempting a layup.

After the players were unable to return, the game belonged to James. 14 points and 6 assists of James’ total came after the break, including an assist on the 3-pointer by Michael Beasley to secure the game. Coming back after missing the Portland game, James didn’t look like his normal attacking self, but these are the types of games that show how far he’s come as a player. Content with being a facilitator and 3-point specialist, he was able to leave his mark on the game.

The Heat finished this road-trip at 3-1. Their next game will be back at the American Airlines Arena Thursday night, as they host the Golden State Warriors (19-13). The game is scheduled for 7:30 pm.

Tags: Miami Heat NBA

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