Jokic, Murray share ‘triple-double’… NBA Denver just two steps away from championship

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Denver Nuggets took a valuable Game 1 win in enemy territory.

The Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat 109-94 in Game 3 of the 2022-2023 NBA Finals (best-of-seven) at the Amway Center in Miami, Florida, on Monday (Jan. 8) to take a 2-1 series lead.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray spearheaded the victory with back-to-back triple-doubles. Murray led all players with 34 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds on the night. Rookie Christian Browne also had a “game changer” in the third quarter to help Denver pull away.

Denver has been making history in every game this season after reaching the first Finals in franchise history. At the center of it all is Ace Jokic, who has been on a monster run. With 32 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists on the night, he became the first player to record his 10th “triple-double” in the NBA’s single-season playoffs (PO).

The game was tight early on. After a back-and-forth scoring battle to end the first quarter tied 24-24, the teams traded baskets several times in the second quarter. Aaron Gordon’s dunk after a fast break with just over a minute left in the second quarter finally broke the tension. With the momentum in their favor, Denver went into the second quarter with a 53-48 lead.

In the second half, Denver completely dominated Miami. Within the first minute of the third quarter, the Nuggets opened up a double-digit lead on a combination play between Jokic and Murray. Miami couldn’t capitalize on the mismatches in front of the basket. Guard Kyle Lowry faltered, unable to stop Jokic’s onslaught.

On the other hand, Denver, who left something to be desired on defense in Game 2, looked different tonight with a “wall of steel” defense in front of the basket. Denver’s defense stifled Miami’s scoring chances on multiple occasions. Layup attempts in the painted area were consistently off the rim and the outside support was lackluster.안전놀이터

Miami was down by as much as 20 points at one point in the fourth quarter, but they never gave up. With 1:32 left in the game, Duncan Robinson hit back-to-back three-pointers to pull within nine points, 94-103. With Miami always turning things around in the fourth quarter, Denver was on edge. Once again, Jokic was the answer, as he broke through Miami’s zone defense with a paint-zone attack to hold off a late charge and secure the win.

The two teams will play Game 4 at the same venue on Tuesday.

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