Now up 2-1, the Nuggets aim to move on the cusp of their first NBA title in franchise history, while the Heat gun for another equalizer when they clash in Game 4 on Friday, June 9 (Saturday, June 10, Manila time) at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida.
WATCH: NBA GAME 4
The Nuggets were powered by a pair of 30-point triple-doubles from Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, who became the first teammates in NBA history to achieve the feat. Miami’s offense was stifled by Denver’s defense, being held to 94 points on 37.0 percent shooting from the field and 31.4 percent shooting from 3.
A day after a debacle in Miami to fall into a 3-0 deficit in these Eastern Conference finals — “embarrassing,” Boston forward Jaylen Brown said — the Celtics will try to extend the series and at least delay a Heat celebration in Game 4 on Tuesday night.
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Not only did the Heat get dominated on the glass, they were beat on field goal shooting, with a 37% rate to the Nuggets’ 51%. Caleb Martin, who was sick in Game 2, only posted 10 points. Tyler Herro (broken hand) has been ruled out from returning to help the Heat.
Following their Game 2 loss, it was known that the Nuggets needed other people to step up scoring besides Nikola Jokic. Jamal Murray stepped up in a big way as he scored 34 points while adding 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Jokic also had a triple-double as he had 32 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists. They’re the first duo to record a triple-double in an NBA Finals game.
Nikola Jokic, center. One of the most determinant players in the last NBA era, his outstanding performances have been enough to be MVP of the season twice, now the player was not the MVP but for many he should have been since he has been more determinant, Jokic has had great performances in the Playoffs and for the finals has also been key, undoubtedly the great candidate to be MVP of the finals.
Denver’s path was one of expected dominance. Their closest call came against the Phoenix Suns, where the series was tied 2-2 before Denver won Games 5 & 6 by a combined 41 points. The Nuggets just lost for the first time at home in the playoffs in Game 2 of the Finals and are massive -800 favorites to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy this season.