The Denver Nuggets took game one at home on Thursday night with a score of 104-93. No surprises here as once again the Miami Heat are major underdogs in a series.
The first quarter was dominated by Aaron Gordon, with 12 of his 16 points scored in the first frame. The Nuggets came out with an explosive game plan knowing that Nikola Jokic would be the focal point of the Miami defense. While Jokic was guarded heavily in the first quarter it allowed him to do what he does best, dish the rock to open teammates, creating open looks all over the floor as he was double-teamed. Denver would end the first quarter up 29-20 over Miami. The rest of the game was more or less the same with the Nuggets carrying a 17-point lead into the half. The Heat would make a series of small runs in the 4th quarter but it was too little too late.
Jokic would finish the night with a triple-double, scoring 27 points, with 10 rebounds and 14 assists. Jamal Murray had a decent night shooting and concluded the game with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 assists. The stars of the Nuggets really showed that the rest didn’t take them out of rhythm and that the moment definitely isn’t too big for Denver, who is appearing in their first finals ever.
Shooting troubles started early for Miami as they went 9-25 FG to start the game. This problem would persist all night as they would continually miss open looks and would eventually finish the night shooting 39-96 FG. Max Strus had a terrible night as he was 0-9 from behind the arc and 0-10 overall. Jimmy Butler wasn’t the best scorer on his team in game one as Bam Adebayo took control with 26 points on the night. Cody Martin came down to earth after an amazing performance in the Eastern Conference Finals and finished the game with a disappointing 3 points on a 1-7 shooting night. Although game one looked rough for Miami, never count out Jimmy Butler and the Heat’s culture as they will surely bounce back and look for a response to a strong game one by Denver. If the Heat has one thing in spades, it’s resilience, so don’t expect them to ever look like they’ve given up in this series.
The schedule for the rest of the NBA Finals is as follows:
- Heat @ Nuggets – June 4 at 8:00 pm (ABC)
- Nuggets @ Heat – June 7 at 8:30 pm (ABC)
- Nuggets @ Heat – June 9 at 8:30 pm (ABC)
If necessary the Heat would head back to Denver for game 5 on Monday, June 12 with a start time of 8:30 on ABC.
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