Nuggets hand Heat third straight loss, 117-104

January 14, 2012 - 2:42 AM
Heat Nuggets

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, left, blocks a shot by Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) in the first quarter of a NBA basketball game in Denver on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

DENVER (AP) — Ty Lawson returned from a sprained right foot to score 24 points, and the Denver Nuggets sent the Miami Heat to their third straight loss with a 117-104 victory on Friday night.

LeBron James had 35 points for the Heat, who have lost their last 10 games in Denver.

Nene added 17 points for the Nuggets. Rudy Fernandez and Al Harrington each had 15 points.

Lawson, who was held out of Wednesday's game against New Jersey, also had nine assists.

Dwyane Wade scored 12 points before landing awkwardly on his right ankle after trying to block a shot with 7:24 remaining. He lay on the floor for several moments before gingerly making his way to the bench. He did not return.

Chris Bosh added 17 points for Miami, which was outscored 31-23 in the fourth quarter.

Harrington hit a bank shot and connected on a 3-pointer on successive possessions before Udonis Haslem made a pair of free throws for Miami near the end of the third, and Denver took an 86-81 lead into the final period.

From there, the Nuggets took control, scoring the first nine points of the fourth to go in front 95-81. The run included a breakaway dunk by Fernandez and three points on free throws after Wade drew a technical for arguing over a charging call and then fouled Nene in the lane.

James made one of two free throws to break up the string but the Nuggets kept up the pressure, as Andre Miller converted a three-point play and Nene drove in for a layup around a dunk by Bosh.

Trailing by as many as 14 points in the first quarter, Miami pulled within 55-53 at halftime when James swished a 3-pointer over Danilo Gallinari with 31 seconds left in the second period.

NOTES: Nene matched a season high with 12 rebounds. ... Wade went without a blocked shot, ending a career high-tying string of 11 consecutive games with at least one. ... Miami last won at the Pepsi Center on Jan. 29, 2002, 100-94 in OT.