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Heat 119, Nuggets 116

The SportsXchange

MIAMI - Chris Bosh scored 40 points, and Ray Allen haunted his former coach with a four-point play with 6.7 seconds left to lead the Miami Heat to a 119-116 win over the Denver Nuggets Saturday night.

Andre Iguodala's 20-foot jumper had given Denver a 116-115 lead with 14.1 seconds left. But Allen drifted to his favorite spot on the floor -- the left corner -- took a pass from LeBron James and drained a three-pointer. He was fouled on the play and made the free throw to give the Heat a three-point lead.

Danilo Gallinari missed a three-point try just before the buzzer to send Denver to its third straight defeat to start the season, all on the road.

The Heat improved to 2-1, including 2-0 at home.

Bosh, who had his best scoring game as a member of the Heat, made 15 of 22 shots from the field and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line.

That helped Miami overcome a Denver team that outscored the Heat 72-40 in the paint.

Allen, who played for Nuggets coach George Karl in Milwaukee from 1998 to 2003, finished with 23 points in 29 minutes off the bench.

Kenneth Faried led Denver with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Denver outrebounded Miami, 46-33.

The lead changed hands 12 times in the first half, but the Nuggets went into intermission leading 66-64.

The Nuggets owned most of the hustle and muscle categories in the first half, scoring 42 points in the paint compared with just 18 for the Heat. The Nuggets had a 21-18 rebound edge and a 12-6 advantage on second-chance points.

There wasn't much wrong with the Heat's offense in the first two periods. They shot 52.3 percent from the field and 46.2 percent on three-pointers (6 of 13) and turned the ball over just three times.

Bosh led all scorers at halftime with 20 points, including his first three-pointer of the season.

But while the Heat offense was strong, their defense was another matter. The Nuggets shot 56.3 percent from the field and had three scorers in double figures.

Given the Nuggets' dominance in the paint, it was no surprise that forwards Faried (16 points, 7 rebounds) and JaVale McGee (14 points, 6 rebounds) led the way.

To try to combat the Nuggets' might, the Heat turned to center Joel Anthony, who made his season debut in the second quarter.

Notes: Forward Wilson Chandler, normally a key member of the rotation, was one of the Nuggets' two inactives designated before the game. Chandler is battling a hip injury and is not yet ready to play consecutive games. The Nuggets lost Friday night at Orlando. . . . The other Denver inactive was guard Julyan Stone, a second-year player who spent part of last season in the D League. . . . The Heat's inactives were post players Dexter Pittman and Josh Harrelson . . . Entering Saturday, Denver had won 11 of the past 13 games against the Heat, dating to the 2004-05 season.
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