The bumpy ride this season continued for the Miami Heat on Wednesday. 

For the second straight game, they proved early they could compete with a contender in the Western Conference only to falter in the second half. This time, it was the Heat building an eight-point, first-half lead before falling 123-106 to the Denver Nuggets. 

The Heat fell to 28-27 and are now the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

“You ultimately are what your record says you are,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We think we’re better than this. We think we’ve been making some progress. But ultimately we are that.”

The Heat were led by 21 points from Jimmy Butler, who played one day after rolling an ankle the previous night against the Phoenix Suns. Guard Kendrick Nunn had 16 points and center Bam Adebayo added 13 points and nine assists. 

It wasn't enough to offset a balanced scoring effort from the Nuggets, led by center Nikola Jokic's 17 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. It was his 15th triple-double of the season. 

“We can be a better team. We still haven’t put together a game of Miami Heat basketball for 48 minutes,” Adebayo said. “When we start doing that, that’s when we’ll start adding these wins up."

The Heat conclude their four-game road trip Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

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