Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, right, celebrates with forward Jimmy Butler after scoring against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals, Sunday, June 4, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Miami Ties Finals With Game 2 Win

Sunday, the Miami Heat handed the Denver Nuggets their first home loss of the postseason. Miami tied the series with a 111-108 Game 2 victory in Denver and both teams will head to Miami for Games 3 and 4.

The Unstoppable Joker

Although Miami came out strong with a 7-0 run, Denver was able to bounce back at the hands of none other than Nikola Jokic. His dominance in the paint was unstoppable and led to another double-double. He racked up 41 points and 11 rebounds.

Following the lead of Jokic, the Nuggets were able to take multiple double digit leads and looked strong throughout. However, the rest of the series cannot be a one-man game for Denver. Other players are going to have to step up and help Jokic carry the burden. Miami kept fighting back despite the adversity, which is a common theme for the Heat. Gabe Vincent says this fighting mindset is part of the team’s DNA.

Jokic’s 18-point third quarter performance showed how powerful Denver is and why they haven’t lost at home since March. It looked as though Miami might not be able to withstand the offensive firepower heading into the final 12 minutes.

Fourth Quarter Takeover

After watching Jokic take over in the third, Miami made adjustments and dominated the final quarter. Despite being down eight at the beginning of the quarter, Miami’s offense was the difference maker in the final quarter. The Heat outscored Denver 36-25 in the fourth, going 11-16 from the field and hit 9-10 free throws. Solid performances from Duncan Robinson and Jimmy Butler proved beneficial late in the game. 

Although Miami held the lead for most of the fourth, Jamal Murray and the Nuggets seemed to be creeping back towards the end. Denver went on an 11-2 run in the final minutes of the game to pull within three. After Bam Adebayo hit two clutch free throws to extend the lead to five, Denver had one final opportunity to hit a buzzer beater three and send the game into overtime. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Heat decided to not foul up three points, giving Murray a chance to tie the game. Though, the 3-pointer came up just short, giving the Heat the Game 2 victory.

Back To Miami

Both teams will head to Kaseya Center for Games 3 and 4. Miami hopes to steal a game with their home court advantage, while Denver looks to take a 3-1 lead before heading back home for Game 5.

Tip off is set for 8:30pm on Wednesday.

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