The Heat still had a good show in the 1st half, but fatigue took over and Denver’s depth spoke louder in the 2nd half, ending up with the Nuggets deservedly winning by 95-108 and raising their lead in the NBA finals to 3- 1. The Nuggets are one win away from becoming champions.
After two games in Denver, the NBA Finals moved to Miami and the Nuggets got off to a good start on their East journey, winning Game 3 by 94-109. Now, this morning from Friday to Saturday, we were back to playing in Miami and the importance was extremely high. On the one hand, the Heat wanted to tie the finals. On the other hand, the Nuggets wanted to be just one victory away from the title of champions.
Betting on his usual defensive zone, so as not to let Jokic make his teammates play, it was soon noticed that the Heat’s attack was nervous – feeling the importance of this game – and the points were somewhat scarce at the start of the match, even failing both teams basket attacks that looked simple. That drought, however, was felt more at home and the Nuggets took the opportunity to increase the advantage. However, Erik Spelstra rallied the troops for the final two minutes of the period, the difference was noticeable and Miami took the lead 21-20.
With Jokic starting the 2nd period on the bench, after twisting his ankle and causing some concern, the pace was much higher and that benefited the attack, with secondary elements having to get ahead. Then Aaron Gordon appeared, filling the field on both sides, but it was in the attack that he stood out the most, scoring 13 points, without missing a shot.
With Gordon in great shape, the Heat were almost always betting on easier baskets, to mask their evident lower effectiveness in triples and less intensity to win trips to the free throw line. The home team needed the role players to get ahead and it was baseman Kyle Lowry (13 points and 4 assists at halftime) who allowed his team to be alive at halftime (51-55), in an offensive game that was leaving a lot of to be desired.
After a 1st half that left something to be desired, a reaction was asked from the Heat, but they took a while to enter the match in the 2nd half and players like Michael Porter Jr., who has even left something to be desired in these finals, took the opportunity to increase the advantage, even with the Nuggets very poor in terms of the outside throw. Faced with this, realizing that the Heat were no longer defending the zone, the Nuggets were betting on the two men gamewith Murray and Jokic dominating offensively.
Denver could even have run away on the scoreboard, but a series of bad offensive decisions followed allowed Miami to breathe and believe and the home team made an effort to leave everything minimally close. The game was even stopped for a few minutes to straighten the basket after a bad dunk by Adebayo and to assist a spectator and that took the rhythm out of the Heat, with the Nuggets closing the 3rd period winning by 73-86.
It was all or nothing for the home team and the Heat came in with everything, intense, throwing Jokic to the bench with his 5th foul, to put pressure on Denver. Taking advantage of this absence and the increased intensity, the Heat quickly reduced the deficit and left the Nuggets struggling, but only for mere moments.
It’s just that players like Bruce Brown held the team until Jokic’s return and allowed the Nuggets to increase the lead, to the point of Kentavius Caldwell Pope’s triple giving the final ax two minutes from time. The Nuggets would eventually win 95-108, taking their Finals lead to 3-1.
The finals now return to Denver, with Game 5 scheduled for the early hours of Monday to Tuesday. In case of victory, the Nuggets are crowned the new champions of the NBA, in front of their audience
“BLOCKED BY ADEBAYO!”
Forceful rejection from Bam Adebayo as Miami looks to cut into the lead in Q4 on ABC 🍿 pic.twitter.com/BX1NOOKkxp
— NBA (@NBA) June 10, 2023
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