Page last updated on Tue May 21 13:06:57 EDT 2013
11/03/2012 11:41 PM EDT
Allen's four-point play lifts Heat, 119-116
MIAMI 119, DENVER 116
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) -- Ray Allen was left unguarded for about one second.
And his first game-winner for the Miami Heat was one to
Allen got a pass from LeBron James and converted a four-point
play with 6.7 seconds left that put Miami ahead for good, and
Chris Bosh scored 40 points to help the Heat hold off the Denver
Nuggets 119-116 on Saturday night.
"LeBron found me," Allen said after just his third game with the
Heat. "It was curtains."
The league's reigning MVP and its career leader in 3-point
shooting combined to put Corey Brewer in a bad spot on Miami's
last possession of the night.
Trailing by a point with 14.1 seconds left, the Heat called time
out and designed a play where James would have the ball and the
option to either drive or pass. He had just scored by driving
the left side of the lane moments earlier, and started his move
on the deciding possession by going in that same direction.
Brewer, who was shadowing Allen, saw James' drive and moved in
for help. That left Allen alone, and he slipped to the left
corner - one of his favorite spots on the floor. James threw him
the ball, Allen got the shot off as a late-arriving Brewer
fouled him, and yet another sellout crowd in Miami got a wild
finish to a wild game.
"We've been on the other end, as the recipient of that type of
pain, in the locker room when he puts the dagger to your heart
with a 3 - and the and-one, just for the heck of it," Heat coach
Erik Spoelstra said. "Do we expect him to do that every single
night? That's not necessarily what he has to do. It's what he's
done his whole career, but he's found a way to fit in."
Allen scored 23 points, and James finished with 20 points, 11
assists and nine rebounds for the Heat, who escaped when Danilo
Gallinari's 3-point try with 2 seconds left bounced off the rim.
Gallinari finished 3 for 17 from the floor, 1 for 9 from 3-point
"The timing wasn't right," Gallinari said.
Dwyane Wade added 14 points for Miami (2-1).
Kenneth Faried and Andre Iguodala each scored 22 for Denver,
which fell to 0-3. Andre Miller made his first eight shots and
finished with 17 for the Nuggets, who also got 16 points from
JaVale McGee and outrebounded Miami 47-32.
"Right now we just need to get a win," Nuggets coach George Karl
said. "This would have been a great win for us. It would have
salvaged the trip. It doesn't feel good. It never feels good."
The 40 points were a Heat-high for Bosh, and they needed every
one of them.
"Good teams find a way to win," Bosh said. "We haven't been
playing our best basketball. We know we've gotten off to a slow
start defensively. We have to pick that up. We have to make a
better. I'm just glad we got out of here alive tonight."
It was a frantic last 3 minutes, and Denver seemed to take
control in the final moments. Faried grabbed a rebound and
scored with 49 seconds remaining, and after a Denver stop, the
Nuggets took the lead when Iguodala connected over Wade from the
left wing with 14.1 left on the clock for a 116-115 edge.
So for the first time this season, the Heat faced a last-second
James and Allen - teammates now for all of three games - were in
perfect synch. Allen made the shot, the free throw swished, the
Heat lead was three, and they escaped.
"As I stepped up to the free-throw line, I was like, `Please
make this free throw,"' Allen said. "It'll be a better story to
Denver was up six midway through the fourth quarter, but the
Heat erased the deficit in a hurry on a pair of 3-pointers by
Allen, 41 seconds apart.
At various times in the early going, Denver held a 40-10 edge in
points in the paint, a 12-0 advantage in second-chance points,
and Faried and McGee were shooting a combined 13 for 16 in the
game's first 20 minutes. By halftime, it was 66-64, the Nuggets
having scored one more point than what anyone posted in the
first half of any game against Miami last season, playoffs
Ultimately, the 23rd - and final - lead change of the night was
pulled off by Allen and the Heat.
"It's good that he made them in a white and red uniform," Wade
NOTES: Denver didn't score more than 89 points in either of its
first two outings this season - it had 91 by the end of the
third quarter on Saturday. ... Miami has allowed 175 points in
the first halves of its three games. ... The Heat shook up the
rotation, with Norris Cole essentially being swapped out and
replaced by Mike Miller. Heat backup C Joel Anthony also made
his first appearance of the season, after battling a hamstring
issue since training camp.
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