2023 NBA Finals: Nuggets win Game 4, take 3-1 series lead over Heat

2023 NBA Finals: Nuggets win Game 4, take 3-1 series lead over Heat

The Denver Nuggets edge closer to claiming their first-ever NBA championship after defeating the Miami Heat 108-95 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals at the Kaseya Center in the early hours of Saturday to take a comfortable 3-1 series lead in the Finals.

The Western Conference Champions, who came into Miami with the scores tied at 1-1, ensured they left the coastal city firmly in the driver’s seat after sweeping the three-time champions at home.

The Heat, who were recent finalists in 2020, began the game strong with a 21-20 first quarter win, but the Nuggets, who were the undeniable favourites heading into the Finals, rallied and steadied themselves, taking a 13-point lead into the final quarter of the game. The fourth quarter was balanced at 22 all, and even though Miami came out with the much-expected intent, the game had slipped away, and top-seeded Denver held out for the win.

Aaron Gordon’s impressive performance saw him lead all scorers with a game-high 27 points, along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists, shooting 11-of-15 from the field and 3-of-4 from the 3-point line.

Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic continued his postseason dominance with another double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds, adding 3 steals and 3 blocks to cap off a solid defensive showing.

Jamal Murray, despite enduring a poor shooting night, finished with 15 points and 12 assists, while former Brooklyn Nets guard Bruce Brown Jr. came off the bench to pour in 21 points in a commanding performance for the Nuggets.

Jimmy Butler led Miami with 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, while Bam Adebayo continued his strong showing in the finals with 20 points and 11 rebounds, his fourth straight 20-point or more game in the Finals and his third game with a double-double.

Kevin Love ended the game as the only other starter with double digits, finishing with 12 points, while Nigeria’s Gabe Vincent and sharpshooter Max Strus struggled all through the game.

The trio of Kyle Lowry (13 points), Duncan Robinson (12 points), and Caleb Martin (11 points) all helped with substantial minutes off the bench, but it was insufficient as the Heat fell for the second consecutive game at home.

The Heat currently have an enormous task in front of them, as history is definitely not on their side. Teams that take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals have won 35 out of 36 previous times, with the only exception being the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

The series will return to Denver, where the Nuggets will be hoping to close out the NBA Finals and win their first title in the franchise’s 47-year history, while Erik Spoelstra and his Heat team will be looking to prevent that by winning Game 5 and returning the series back to Miami.

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