Nuggets Heat
Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, right, reacts after making a 3-poiunt basket against the Miami Heat during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Nuggets Defeat Heat In Game 1 of NBA Finals

Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic was the highlight of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, where the Denver Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat 104-93. Jokic posted a triple-double, and he’s the second player in NBA Finals history to post a triple-double in a Finals debut.


Dominant Denver

The Nuggets appeared to be in complete control after taking an early nine-point lead to conclude the first quarter, and the lead increased to 59-42 at the end of the first half. Denver led Miami by as much as 24 points during the game, halting any chance for the Heat to make a comeback.

Miami struggled to stop the Denver trio of Jokic, Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon. Jokic ended up with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists while Gordon contributed 16 points and six rebounds. Additionally, Murray added 26 points, 10 assists and six rebounds to help the Nuggets secure the victory.

Despite going 8-27 from the 3-point range, Denver shot 50.9% from the field.


Heat Cool Off

Miami had a difficult night after defeating the Celtics handily in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday. The team was unable to get either its offense or defense to gel. The Heat only held one lead all night, which was a one-point lead with 9:11 remaining in the first quarter. Also, Miami only shot two free throws on the night, and the Nuggets shot 20.

The Heat shot 40.6% (39-96) from the field and 33.3% (13-39) from behind the arc. Jimmy Butler contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Caleb Martin and Max Strus combined to shoot 1-17 from the field. Bam Adebayo led Miami with 26 points, 13 boards and five assists.

Game 2

Before the series switches to South Beach for Games 3 and 4 the following week, the Heat will look to tie the series at one apiece on Sunday in Game 2.

Game 2 begins at 8 p.m. at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.

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