NBA: Jokic begins his NBA Finals story with a triple-double to subdue Miami | nba 2022

NBA: Jokic begins his NBA Finals story with a triple-double to subdue Miami |  nba 2022

2023-06-02 08:37:17


The Heat accused the fatigue after their exhausting final of the East against Boston and Jimmy Butler stayed at 13 points

Jokic pitches against the opposition of Miami players.David ZalubowskiAP
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He is the man of the moment, the player who captures all the eyes of the world of basketball. Nikola Jokic is on its way to making history in the nba finals and it could not have started in a better way. The Serbian has signed a triple-double of 27 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in the first game against the Heat in a gray Jimmy Butler (104-93).

He Denver Ball Arena He lived with electricity and exciting expectation the first game in a Finals of these unprecedented Nuggets at this point in a season.

Far from being carried away by emotions or showing the tension of a novice, the Nuggets they offered a recital -only stained by relaxing too much in the last quarter- and they gave no option to some Heat who presented themselves with very fair forces and only two days of rest after winning in seven games the memorable and exhausting final of the East against the Boston Celtics.

Denver, which had nine days off to prepare for the Finals after a 4-0 sweep of Los Angeles Lakershad five players over 10 points .

The figure was Jokic with an extremely intelligent performance, as the center gave a master class on how to control a game without practically looking at the basket (8 of 12 shooting, 10 of 12 from the personal line).

Jokic also joined Jason Kidd (2002) as the only player to achieve a triple-double in his Finals debut.

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Also fueled by great defense in the first three quarters, the Nuggets had 26 points and 10 assists from Jamal Murray16 points of Aaron Gordon and 14 points and 13 rebounds from Michael Porter Jr.

Bam Adebayo (26 points and 13 rebounds) was the highlight of some Heat with a gray Jimmy Butler (13 points with 6 of 14, 7 rebounds and 7 assists).

Also, the famous undrafted unit crashed in Denver, so much so that Caleb Martin y Max Strus they shook hands on a gruesome 1-for-17 shooting from the field and 3 points between them.

Miami pulled caste in the last quarter to make up the result but it will have to improve a lot to get some Nuggets in trouble who have the home court factor in their favor and who have not yet lost in Denver in these ‘playoffs’.


There had been a lot of talk in the preview about how Miami was going to manage to stop Jokic, but it was Gordon who exposed the Heat’s notable shortcomings in defense at the start.

With muscle, enormous power and relentlessly attacking towards the hoop, Gordon became a giant in the paint with 12 points in a first quarter in which the ‘small’ Gabe Vincent, Stress and Martin were unable to put up any resistance.

Jokic began with a first quarter, a trademark of the Serbian genius: he only shot once for a basket -and he scored it-, he reached 4 points with free throws and, nevertheless, he was able to dominate the game, distributing no less than 6 assists.

Butler y Adebayo They started well with 15 points between them, but the Nuggets, with 20 goals in the area, opened up a gap without wasting time (29-20).

Murray and Porter Jr.’s triples, against the Miami area, sustained the locals in the always delicate minutes on Jokic’s bench.

Back on the field, the pvot punished the two against one of the Heat, always finding the free player and stretching the advantage of some very solvent Nuggets and with the duel under control (50-37 with 3.21 for the intermission). Adebayo gave his face to the visitors with 16 points in the first half.

But without Butler at his best level (7 points), with a serious problem from the triple (4 of 17) and without news of unrecognizable Strus and Martin (0 points between them with a painful 0 of 12 shooting) the Heat began to lose ground.

Thus, the Nuggets, without having to engage fifth gear or force the machine, left with a +17 at rest (59-42) at the hands of a sensational Murray with 18 points, a great 59.5% shooting from the field and four players over 10 points.

One of them was Jokic, who, without making noise, planted himself like nothing in a double-double in the first half with 10 points (3 of 3 on shots, 4 of 4 on free throws) and a magnificent 10 assists.

An 0-7 start briefly revived the Heat, but the Nuggets, without a hint of nerves or doubts in their Finals debut, responded without hesitation.

Murray and Jokic continued to do their thing as a lethal duo, Porter Jr. and Caldwell-Pope pierced the soul of Miami from triple and Bruce Brown He joined the party with a basket to overcome the 20-point barrier (81-60 with 2.08 on the clock).

With very few arguments to orchestrate an epic comeback, the Heat entered the fourth quarter with their tongues hanging out (84-63) and even so they took pride to seal a surprising 0-11 game in less than three minutes.

Seeing himself with ‘only’ +10 woke the Nuggets from their relaxation, who became entangled in the zone of Erik Spoelstra and that, despite a very lackluster last quarter (20-30), they closed the victory using Jokic as executor in the last minutes.

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