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Saturday November 17, 2012

Determined Miami break Denver duck without Wade

<B>I’m the boss:</B> Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (right) controls the ball against Kosta Koufos of Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Centre in Denver on Thursday. Miami won 98-93. — AFP I’m the boss: Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (right) controls the ball against Kosta Koufos of Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Centre in Denver on Thursday. Miami won 98-93. — AFP

MIAMI: Defending champion Miami Heat bounced back in style from their surprise defeat to LA Clippers when they claimed a rare road win over the Denver Nuggets 98-93 on Thursday.

And the impressive victory came despite being without the services of eight-times All-Star Dwayne Wade. The Heat led throughout but needed to survive a late Nuggets rally to claim a first victory in Denver since January 2002.

Despite trailing by as many as 19 points on the night, the Nuggets (4-5) were just one behind with 65 seconds remaining but Danilo Gallinari’s wide-open three-point shot fell woefully short.

Norris Cole then stuck a dagger in the home fans heart by nailing a triple of his own just 14 seconds later. Wade sat out the contest at the Pepsi Center in Denver after spraining his left foot earlier this week against the Clippers but the Heat overcame his absence to move to 7-3.

Three-time league MVP and eight-time All-Star Lebron James took charge for the Heat, leading the team with 27 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists.

He was helped by Shane Battier (18 points), Chris Bosh (14) and Mike Miller (12), in what was an impressive team performance.

The Heat were on fire from distance, claiming 39 points at 48 percent from outside the three-point arc. — Reuters

In another match, Raymond Felton scored 25 points as the New York Knicks rallied to beat the San Antonio Spurs 104-100 to remain the only undefeated team in the NBA.

J.R. Smith added 17 points, Jason Kidd had 14 and Tyson Chandler 13 for the Knicks (6-0), who closed on a 22-11 run to remain unbeaten.

Tony Parker led San Antonio (7-2) with 19 points and 12 assists. Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and Tim Duncan had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Smith and Kidd hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Knicks a 100-95 lead with a minute left in the game.

Brooklyn Nets, meanwhile, won its fourth straight when they edged Boston Celtics 102-97.

Deron Williams with 24 points had eight assists and made all nine free throws on a night Paul Pierce had two huge misses in the final minute for the Celtics, who played without injured point guard Rajon Rondo.

Pierce scored 22 points and Leandro Barbosa had 17 in place of Rondo, who was out with a sprained right ankle. Kevin Garnett added 14 points but Boston had its three-game win streak snapped and lost to the Nets for just the third time in 21 meetings. — Agencies

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