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What's Been Learned on the Heat's Long Road Trip?

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What's Been Learned on the Heat's Long Road Trip?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
LeBron James hasn't been the only one surprised by things that have happened to the Heat on the court.

Weary but happy, the Heat left Denver late Thursday with something the franchise hadn't secured in this city in a decade:

A win.

Or, as Erik Spoelstra put it, "A good character win."

Miami's 98-93 victory, one that came without Dwyane Wade for the entirety and without Mario Chalmers for all but seven minutes, put a different spin on a road trip that has covered all four time zones, and will finish Saturday in a sixth city: Phoenix.

After some difficulties on defense in recent contests, the Heat left feeling reasonably good about the way it competed, considering how few teams have had luck in this building, and this altitude, after playing in the Pacific Time Zone the night before.

That gave Miami a 3-2 mark on the trip as a whole, and a 7-3 record on the season, with the Suns unlikely to provide the most formidable opposition before the Heat returns home.

As LeBron James said before last Friday's trip-opener in Atlanta, “We understand that it’s a long trip but we’ve got to take each game at its own."

Each game so far has offered a different lesson about the Heat, and the direction the team could be headed.

(The reporter collected all quotes while covering the team on the road trip.)

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