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Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray shoot 3-pointers to fend off Heat

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The Nuggets protected the ball like it was caked in olive oil.

To their credit, they shot like they were on fire.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray each buried clutch 3-pointers late Friday night as the Nuggets survived the feisty Heat, 124-119. Denver hung on despite 20 turnovers, including a handful of egregious mistakes.

How easily can Nuggets coach Michael Malone stomach a win of that nature?

“It’s not easy,” he joked. “That’s life, right? … But we had 34 assists.”

It took a blistering shooting night — 17 for 28 from 3-point range — to ensure they weren’t undone by their miscues. That same level of carelessness won’t work come Sunday, when the 23-12 Nuggets host the surging Celtics.

Bones Hyland buried five 3-pointers, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked down four and Vlatko Cancar drained three from outside.

“Everybody’s talking (stuff) about the bench, but once in a while, the bench did good, I think,” Cancar said.

Jokic sunk two from deep to pair with his 19-point, 12-rebound, 12-assist triple-double. It was his eighth of the season, tied for the most in the NBA.

Heat sniper Tyler Herro carried Miami in the second half, finishing the game with a team-high 26 points. Jimmy Butler added 17 points and eight assists.


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