The Denver Nuggets have dominated Miami since they picked Carmelo Anthony(notes) and the Heat selected Dwyane Wade(notes) in the 2003 draft. In the first meeting between the teams this season, though, it was Miami that came out on top.
Denver looks to remain undefeated at home against the Heat since that draft and avenge last month’s loss when the clubs play Thursday night.
The Nuggets took Anthony third overall in 2003 while Miami used the fifth pick on Wade. Since that draft, Denver is 10-3 against the Heat—6-0 at home.
Miami, however, won 96-88 on Nov. 6 to end an eight-game skid in the series despite Anthony outscoring Wade 30-22. It was Denver’s first loss after a 5-0 start.
Wade led the NBA in scoring in 2008-09 and Anthony has jumped out to top the league this season, averaging 30.7 points for the first-place Nuggets (13-5).
He scored 25 on Tuesday as Denver beat Golden State 135-107 to bounce back from a stunning six-point loss to Minnesota on Sunday that snapped its 17-game win streak at the Pepsi Center.
Seven Nuggets scored in double figures Tuesday as Denver posted its highest-scoring game of the season. Unlike in Sunday’s loss in which the Nuggets blew a 17-point lead, they were able to build on a 69-55 advantage at the half, taking a 23-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
“That’s what’s great about the NBA,” said point guard Chauncey Billups(notes), who scored 22. “The next night, the same thing can happen and you can show that you learn from your mistakes. We came out up 14 at the start of the third and we said, ‘Let’s try to put them away this time, not just talk about it. Let’s do it,’ and I was proud of us for that.”
Anthony has scored at least 20 in every game, the only NBA player to do so this season.
Wade helped the Heat (10-7) get back on track Tuesday in the opener of a four-game road trip. Following back-to-back home losses, Miami beat Portland 107-100 as Wade had 22 points and a season-high 12 assists.
“We knew they were going to take the ball out of Wade’s hands. He had to trust his teammates, and that’s what he did,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.
The Heat play the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday and Sacramento on Sunday before heading back to Miami.
“This was a great way to start our trip,” Wade said. “It was a very good team effort against a very, very good team.”
Anthony has appeared in 12 of the 13 matchups with the Heat since the 2003 draft, averaging 26.5 points. Wade has also played 12 times over that span and has scored 27.8 per game.
Denver has won 12 of the last 15 overall meetings against Miami, taking seven in a row at home. The Nuggets haven’t been swept in a season series by the Heat since 2001-02.