The NBA Finals are now tied at two games apiece after the Miami Heat won Game 2 in Denver on the road. A starting point has been reached for this sequence. The third game of the series will be played on Wednesday night at South Beach.
Latest news on Jimmy Butler, Nikola Jokic and Tyler Herro
What is there to say about the Miami Heat? They appear to be a mission squad if ever there was one. They proved it once more on Sunday, when they upset the Nuggets 111-108 in Denver to even the series at one game apiece.
After the first game, in which Denver used its size advantage to outmuscle the Heat, Spoelstra made the usual tweaks, placing Kevin Love into the starting lineup, and he answered with 10 rebounds.
After being outshot, outrebounded, and outplayed over three quarters, the Heat had little chance of winning. But then their guts kicked in, and they roared back to win by a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Duncan Robinson opened the fourth quarter with two huge threes to put the Heat back in it, and Gabe Vincent, Jimmy Butler, and Caleb Martin followed with threes as Miami turned an 83-75 deficit into a 107-95 lead with about three and a half minutes left.
Gabe Vincent had 23 points, while Butler and Bam Adebayo each had 21. Robinson earned ten points while Max Strus had fourteen.
Tyler Herro was anticipated to be ready to play in game 3 after injuring his hand against the Bucks in the first round. However, now that the Heat have won and are not in a crisis situation, there is conjecture that he may sit out game 3 and gain further rest due to his injury.
At the time of publication, he was listed as out on the injury report. Keep an eye on his condition as the game approaches.
According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Cody Zeller is expected to play in Game 3 against Denver on Wednesday.
Zeller was considered likely for Game 2 before being elevated to available. The veteran big man has averaged 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 7.5 minutes in the first two games of the series.
The Nuggets were on a roll in game 2 and appeared to be on their way to a 2-0 victory on Sunday night. The Heat fought valiantly, but it appeared that Denver was in command and would cruise to victory.
The entire show then changed. The Nuggets led 57-51 at halftime and 83-75 going into the fourth. The Heat, on the other hand, surged in the fourth quarter, outscoring Denver 15-2 to start the frame on their way to a shocking 111-108 triumph.
In 42 minutes, Nikola Jokic had 41 points (16-28 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 11 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Jokic scored 53 points, his highest total since Game 4 against the Suns. Jokic’s meager assist total was a clear indication that he attempted to carry the team on his back rather than relying on his supporting cast.
Allow Jokic to do his thing, but don’t let Michael Porter and Aaron Gordon hurt you, and keep Murray from going off. Murray is crucial because once he gets rolling, the Nuggets are difficult to stop.
Denver is 12-5 in the playoffs and 4-2 when Jokic does not have double-digit assists.