Heat drop back-to-back home games for first time since 2011.
There were 10 games on the NBA schedule on Friday night, with the Denver Nuggets inflicting further misery on the Miami Heat with a win at the AA Arena.
It was a fifth loss in six games for the defending champions who are struggling to win in what has been their strongest stretch of the season in previous years, with Kenneth Faried scoring 24 points for the visitors who also had a significant bench effort.
The loss sent Miami three games behind the Indiana Pacers in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, as they dropped back-to-back home games for the first time since 2011.
“We always have one defining moment,” LeBron James said. “And this is it right here for us.”
Denver hardly arrived in blistering form with this being their fifth win in its last 18 games, but coach Brian Shaw was delighted with his team’s performance as they made plays when required to keep the Heat at bay.
In contrast, opposite number Erik Spoelstra insisted that his team would get out of their slump, but they are running out of time if they still harbour hopes of finishing top of the pile in the East.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers sent the Philadelphia 76ers to their 19th straight loss with Paul George leading the way with 25 points.
The Pacers have been equally disappointing over the past week through a tough schedule, but they had too much for their opponents who appear to have wandering minds on the draft.
Over in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs comfortably overcame the Los Angeles Lakers to make it nine straight wins.
Danny Green had 15 points while coach Gregg Popovich was afforded the luxury of resting his starters for much of the contest which in turn allowed five reserves to score in double figures.
Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker each played 14 minutes while Tim Duncan was on court for 15 minutes, as Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni conceded that they “carved us up pretty good”.
The Golden State Warriors slipped to a surprise home defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers with Spencer Hawes posting up 22 points and 13 rebounds to outshine Stephen Curry with the Warriors point guard going for 27 points and eight assists.
There were no such problems for the Los Angeles Clippers though, as Chris Paul was at his influential best to help them to their 10th consecutive win.
Minnesota Timberwolves 93-105 Charlotte Bobcats
Washington Wizards 105-101 Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers 101-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Memphis Grizzlies 86-99 Toronto Raptors
Phoenix Suns 87-80 Boston Celtics
Denver Nuggets 111-107 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 111-103 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers 85-119 San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers 96-87 Utah Jazz
Cleveland Cavaliers 103-94 Golden State Warriors