Birthday boy LeBron James caps road trip with win as Miami Heat tops Denver Nuggets--Miami Herald
DENVER -- Coach Erik Spoelstra joked before the game how most of his players were struggling with bumps and bruises.James returns to lead Heat past Nuggets 97-94--Miami Herald
Then Dwyane Wade and Norris Cole left the Heat’s game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center with injuries. Badly shorthanded, the Heat still defeated the Nuggets 97-94 in the final game of a difficult four-game road trip out west. The Heat (24-7) went 3-1 in a series of games that featured one injury after another.
It culminated in the span of a few minutes in the third quarter when Wade and then Cole were both knocked out of the game by hard fouls. Nuggets guard Jordan Hamilton left his feet after a vintage pump fake by Wade, and the two players collided in midair with 29 seconds off the clock in the period.
Wade crumpled to the ground and left the game with 10:55 remaining in the period. He was taken to the locker room for evaluation and was later ruled out with back spasms. But before the Heat’s trainers made a decision on Wade, Cole was being helped into the locker room as well.
Cole, who subbed in for Wade, was fouled by Ty Lawson on a fast break under the basket and, immediately, it was clear Cole had sustained a significant injury. Spoelstra jogged out on the court to check on his injured backup point guard before trainers helped Cole to the locker room with a towel over his face.
Cole said after the game that his mouthpiece saved his front teeth.
“Just a little cut on my lip and that’s it,” Cole said. “My teeth didn’t come out. They would have come out if I didn’t have my trays in, but they held them together. They’re a little loose, but they’re good…I put a lot of money into these things.”
Wade said his back “just locked up.”
“I don’t know,” Wade said. “I’m day-to-day at this point.”
The injuries to Wade and Cole were the latest setbacks on a road trip beset by injuries. Wade, Cole, LeBron James, Ray Allen and Chris Andersen all missed time, but despite all the hobbled players the Heat still managed to win a pair of close games and defeat the Lakers on a Christmas Day.
“We knew that guys had to step up with Norris and D-Wade being out and [Andersen] already being out,” James said. “We wanted to go 4-0 on the trip, but at the end of the day we played some really good basketball on the whole. We can definitely use this going into the New Year.”
James scored 26 points and the Miami Heat beat the skidding Denver Nuggets 97-94 Monday night despite losing Dwyane Wade and Norris Cole during the game.Winderman's view: Heat 97, Nuggets 94--South Florida Sun Sentinel
While the Heat got James back, they were without Wade and Cole for much of the game.
Cole left midway through the third quarter after taking a fall at the end of a driving layup attempt and hitting his face on the floor.
He had come into the game in place of Wade, who didn't return after halftime because of back spasms.
Cole went up for a shot against Lawson, who was called for a foul, and fell awkwardly face first to the floor. Cole remained down for several minutes while being tended to by trainers before being helped to his feet and assisted off the floor to the locker room for treatment.
"He went back and after a few minutes he was fine," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He is just going to have a fat lip tomorrow."
Joel Anthony came in for Cole and made both free throws.
-- He was then replaced by Norris Cole, who took a hard foul from Nuggets guard Ty Lawson and fell face front to the court along the baseline.Beasley's late three helps lift shorthanded Heat over Nuggets--South Florida Sun Sentinel
-- With Cole forced to the locker room and unable to shoot his free throws he was, by rule, lost for the game.
-- Nuggets coach Brian Shaw then selected Joel Anthony from the Heat's bench to shoot Cole's two free throws.
-- Ironically, the Heat were called for delay of game because Anthony had helped Cole to the locker room and was not immediately available to shoot the free throws.
Cleveland State (8-6) Battles Green Bay (9-3)--Vikings Ball
Coleman Named Horizon League Player Of The Week--csuvikings.com
Detroit 73, Bethune-Cookman 53: Titans have cruise in final tune-up before Horizon schedule--The Detroit Free Press
Detroit Easily Defeats Bethune-Cookman 73-53--Titans Update
Titans Conclude Non-Conference with 73-53 Topping of Bethune-Cookman--detroittitans.com
Second Half Rally Comes Up Short--detroittitans.com
OU OPENS HORIZON LEAGUE PLAY AT WRIGHT STATE--ougrizzlies.com
On Campus: UIC’s Humes ready for swan song at Valparaiso--The Post-Tribune
UIC’s Pat Birt Wins Horizon League Freshman of the Week--The Catch and Shoot
Lightning doesn’t strike twice--Whoosh!Net
Pat Birt Named Horizon League Freshman of the Week--uicflames.com
UIC Women's Basketball Participates in Adopt-A-Family Program--uicflames.com
Flames Look for Ten Straight Wins Tuesday at Northern Illinois--uicflames.com
NOTEBOOK: Sykes Concludes Memorable Teenage Years--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Women's basketball: Missed chances, UW sink Phoenix--Green Bay Press Gazette
Wisconsin Slips Past Green Bay in Overtime, 65-61--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Milwaukee (10-4) Takes On Youngstown State (9-6)--UWM Update
Crusader Women Look to Rebound as South Dakota Makes First Visit to Valpo--valpoathletics.com
YSU faces road test to start league play--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Shawn Amiker Named Horizon League Men's Basketball Player of the Week--ysusports.com
Kelsea Newman Named Horizon League Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Week--ysusports.com
YSU's Amiker, UIC's Birt Tabbed for Men's Basketball Honors--Horizon League Network
Detroit Closes 2013 by Rolling Past Bethune-Cookman--Horizon League Network
Coleman Named Player of the Week, Newman Earns Freshman Honors--Horizon League Network