The Denver Nuggets are one win away from being crowned National Basketball Association (NBA) champions for the first time in franchise history.
The Nuggets cruised to a 108-95 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the best-of-seven 2022-2023 NBA Championship on Tuesday night at the Casilla Center in Miami, Florida.
With a three-game series lead, Denver is one win away from its first franchise title.
Denver, which was founded in 1967 as a member of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and joined the NBA in 1976, has yet to lift a championship.
Meanwhile, Miami, which is attempting to become the first No. 8 seed in NBA history, was on the brink of elimination.
After finishing the regular season in seventh place and earning the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference through the play-in tournament, the Heat swept the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics, who led the league in overall winning percentage (70.7%), in the playoffs (PO), to reach the championship game, but they seem to be struggling in front of the West’s top team, Denver.
Game 5, which will determine whether Denver wins the championship or Miami’s “upset victory,” will be played on Nov. 13 at the Mile High City’s Ball Arena.
Ace Nikola Jokic led the way for the Heat with 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. She also contributed three steals and two blocked shots and was solid on defense.
In place of Jermaine Murray (15 points), forward Aaron Gordon formed a one-two punch with Jokic as he exploded for 27 points on a 73.3 percent field goal percentage with a pinpoint shooting touch.
Gordon also added six rebounds and a game-high six assists.
Murray, who missed 12 of 17 shots, focused on running the offense instead of scoring, dishing out 12 assists to help his team win the game.
After taking a slim 55-51 lead into halftime, Denver began to pull away in the third quarter.
Back-to-back hook shots by Jokic and a layup by Murray gave the Nuggets a double-digit lead with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter, and a Gordon three-pointer just before the end of the quarter pushed the lead to 13.
In the fourth quarter, Miami cut the deficit to five points with 8:42 left in the game on back-to-back free throws from Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, but could get no closer.
With just under five minutes to play, Bruce Brown exploded for 11 points in four minutes, completely killing Miami’s momentum in the final minutes.
Ace Butler had 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Miami, while Adebayo had 20 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the loss.토토사이트
After being outrebounded 33-58 in the previous three games, Miami pulled down 37 rebounds on the night, more than Denver (34), but its outside shooting was silent.
With Denver’s strategy of minimizing help defense and pressuring the perimeter, Miami, which shot 32% (8-of-25) from three-point range, couldn’t find any other offensive outlet.
Instead, they self-destructed, committing 15 miscues, more than double their opponent’s (6).
Denver not only “won” offensively, but defensively as well, with 12 steals, six times as many as Miami (2).