Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Denver at Miami
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, March 19, 2018
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone ripped into his team after it opened a crucial road trip with a loss to the team with the worst record in the NBA. Malone hopes his words can translate to action when the Nuggets continue the seven-game voyage with a visit to the Miami Heat on Monday.

"Our starting group did an awful job of starting the game with any real sense of urgency, and we built ourselves a 21-point hole on the road," Malone told reporters after his team fell behind 34-17 after one quarter en route to a seven-point loss at Memphis, which had dropped its previous 19 games. Malone questioned the overall effort of his team, which has dropped six of 11 to sink 1 1/2 games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference entering Sunday's play and is 11-22 on the road. The Heat are also fighting for one of the final playoff seeds in the East but have a significant cushion over any other contenders as they come down the stretch run. Goran Dragic's late jumper lifted Miami to a 92-91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday and his team has a 6 1/2-game lead over ninth-place Detroit with 12 to play.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), FS Sun (Miami)

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (38-32): Denver is 2-3 without leading scorer Gary Harris this season and he is expected to miss a few more games as he deals with a knee injury. Jamal Murray and Will Barton are often strong candidates to fill any scoring void but they combined to shoot 7-of-30 from the floor - including 1-of-10 from long range - in the loss to Memphis. "It's a tough one to swallow, for sure," Devin Harris told the team website. "But we've got to get over it quick, and we've got to come back (on Sunday), correct our mistakes. It's not an Xs and Os thing. It was more energy and effort, and that's something we can correct."

ABOUT THE HEAT (37-33): Miami is also just 3 1/2 games out of third place in the East as it begins a closing stretch in which it plays eight of 12 at home, where the team is 20-13. "Every game has playoff implications for us," center Kelly Olynyk told reporters in Los Angeles. "We have to treat every game like a playoff game. We really have to go home and take care of business." Dwyane Wade (hamstring) missed his third straight game in the victory while Hassan Whiteside (hip) sat for the fourth time in a row.


1. Nuggets PF Paul Millsap had 27 points and nine rebounds in a 95-94 win over Miami at home earlier this season.

2. Dragic reached the 30-point mark in back-to-back games for the first time and is 7-for-11 from 3-point range in that span.

3. Nuggets C Nikola Jokic has two triple-doubles and one double-double in his last four games.

PREDICTION: Heat 105, Nuggets 101
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Denver 38-32 L1 27-10 11-22 2-1 36-31 6-6 24-23
Miami 37-33 W1 20-13 16-20 5-3 32-30 9-5 25-18
Last Meeting
Denver Miami
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/3/17 MIA 94 DEN 95 95 41 45.0 94 41 46.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Denver P. Millsap 27 52.9 8
Miami G. Dragic 23 53.3 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Denver N. Jokic 14 5 9
Miami J. Johnson 10 3 7
Assists Player  
Denver P. Millsap 5
Miami G. Dragic 7
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Denver J. Murray 1158 46.2 188
Miami G. Dragic 1165 44.9 194
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Denver N. Jokic 665 167 498
Miami H. Whiteside 589 160 429
Assists Player  
Denver N. Jokic 383
Miami G. Dragic 314
Quickchart Matchup
Denver Denver Off vs  Miami Miami Defense
Denver Off vs Miami - Points For 109.0 Points For
Denver Off vs Miami - Points Against 102.5 Points Against
Denver - FG% 46.9 FG%
Miami - FG% 45.3 FG%
Denver - Reb 44.3 Reb
Miami - Reb 42.4 Reb
Miami Miami Off vs  Denver Denver Defense
Miami Off vs Denver - Points For 102.5 Points For
Miami Off vs Denver - Points Against 107.9 Points Against
Miami - FG% 45.4 FG%
Denver - FG% 47.9 FG%
Miami - Reb 43.2 Reb
Denver - Reb 41.2 Reb