Denver Nuggets silence Miami Heat with commanding 109-94 win to take 2-1 lead as Nikola Jokic makes NBA Finals history with first 30-20-10… and Jamal Murray joins him with 30-point triple-double
- Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray came up massive for the Nuggets in Game 3
- And the Nuggets were also helped by an unheralded rookie in the win
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray had dueling triple-doubles and Christian Braun was a revelation off the bench as the Nuggets regained homecourt advantage on Wednesday, beating the Heat 109-94 on the road.
Jokic had 32 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists and Murray piled in a triple-double effort of his own with 34 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
Brazilian soccer star Neymar was among the high-profile names at the Kaseya Center to witness Finals history Wednesday night.
In a game that was separated by just five points at halftime, the rookie Braun also proved to be a catalyst, adding 15 points in just 19 minutes with his defensive energy buoying Denver as well.
That makes him the first Western Conference rookie with a 15-point Finals game since Sam Cassell in 1994, per Statmuse.
Nikola Jokic had a 30-point triple-double as the Nuggets grabbed a massive win on the road
Jimmy Butler needed 24 shots to reach 28 points as his Heat fell at home in Game 2
Jamal Murray led the Nuggets in scoring with 34 points and a triple-double of his own
‘I always talk about him as a champion, as a winner,’ Jokic told ESPN after the game.
Jokic also made history in the contest, as his 30-20-10 effort was the first such performance in the NBA Finals history – while he and Murray became just the second teammates in Finals history to have 25 points and 10 assists in the same game, as Basketball Reference noted.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he thought the duo’s performance was ‘by far’ their best-ever together and singled both out for praise after the game.
‘This guy has shown time and time again that he’s built for these moments,’ he said of Jokic. ‘He thrives in these moments.’
On Murray, he said, ‘I felt his presence all game long…. he was here, he was in the moment.’
Miami and Denver were knotted at 24 apiece after the first quarter and the Heat were still in range after two as well.
But the Nuggets began to peel away in the third quarter – where they outscored the Heat 29-20 – and led by as much 21 in the second half as they secured a relatively drama-free win.
The Heat’s best two players, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, combined for 48 points but didn’t score the ball efficiently.
Christian Braun was a massive spark plug off the bench for the Nuggets with 15 points
Kevin Love (left) and Caleb Martin of the Miami Heat talk during the fourth quarter Wednesday
Butler needed 24 shots to reach 28 points while Adebayo had 22 on 21 attempts from the field.
Outside of that duo, only Caleb Martin (10 points) reached double figures for the home team, while Miami shot just 37 percent from the field.
Meanwhile, Aaron Gordon added 11 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Nuggets.
Game 4 is on Friday at 8.30pm ET.
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