The Nuggets were quick to react. Beaten at home in the second game of the NBA Finals, Denver players responded on Wednesday, June 7, by going to win in Florida at the Miami Heat (109-94).
And they made history thanks to the duo Jamal Murray-Nikola Jokic, who became the first two teammates in an NBA Finals to each record a hat-trick in the same game: the Canadian finished with 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists; the Serb scored 32 points, collected a staggering 21 rebounds and gave 10 assists, also becoming the first player in NBA Finals history to reach 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in one game .
“To be honest, I don’t care much”commented Nikola Jokic, about this achievement. I’m just glad we won a game. It was important for us just because they won at home and we didn’t want to be down 2-1. »
No lift for Miami
The “Joker” took the opportunity to become the seventh player to make two triple doubles in the finals, like Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, LeBron James and even Heat player Jimmy Butler. But Wednesday, Butler, author of 28 points, had to bow just like his partner Bam Adebayo who nevertheless signed 22 points and 17 rebounds.
Under the eyes of stars from all walks of life who came to the Kaseya Center – Neymar and Paul Pogba, Shakira, Chris Tucker, but not yet Lionel Messi who announced a few hours earlier his upcoming arrival at Inter Miami – the Heat led by 14 points at the start of the fourth quarter, but a great specialist in comebacks in the playoffs with seven victories after being led by at least 12 points, failed against the Nuggets who were too big, too strong and too tough on the inside. The Nuggets put up 60 points (down from 34) in the Heat’s paint, more than half of their total.
Michael Malone, coach of the Nuggets, had demanded an immediate response from his players whom he had found too tender, overwhelmed at the start in the previous match three days earlier, which had resulted in a first defeat at home in these playoffs. It was widely heard. There are two games left to win to satisfy him completely.