In courtesy of a furious third quarter two-way outburst, the Denver Nuggets bounced back in Game 3 of the 2023 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, 109-94.
The Nuggets held on from a mini-comeback scare by the Heat after Duncan Robinson’s treys trimmed their lead to single digits with just 1:22 left in regulation. They maintained their lead to successfully close out the matchup after wounding up as much as a 21-point margin against Miami.
Nikola Jokic compiled another masterpiece with 32 points, 21 boards and 10 assists, his third playoff game wherein he had a 30-20-10 triple-double, overlapping both Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who had one each throughout the entire history of the postseason (via ESPN Stats & Info).
Jamal Murray revived his offensive game and feasted with 34 points, 10 boards and 10 assists. He and Jokic are the first pair of teammates in NBA history (history and playoffs) to register a 30-point triple-double in the same game, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Rookie Christian Braun was critical off the bench with his 15 points and four boards in 7-of-8 shooting for over 19 minutes of play. Aaron Gordon, for his part, had a robust inpact with 11 points, 10 boards and five assists with a game-high +16 +/-.
The Nuggets dominated the Heat on both ends of the floor, shooting consistently with 51.2 percent field goal efficieny (41-of-80) while clamping them down to a poor 37 percent (34-of-92). Denver also crashed the glass ferociously with 58 rebounds, in contrast to Miami’s 33.
Jimmy Butler led the Heat on a losing effort with his 28 points, while Bam Adebayo churned 22 points and 17 boards. No other Miami player managed to crack in double-digit scoring besides Caleb Martin, who had 10 bench points.
After absorbing a gut-wrenching loss in Game 2, the Nuggets elevated their sense of urgency in order to regain the series momentum and the home court advantage of the championship tilt. As such, the never-say-die Heat team have proven themselves from time to time in this year’s playoffs that they won’t bow down amidst adversities and their position.
Game 4 of the NBA Finals resumes again within Kaseya Center on Friday.