In a stunning turn of events, the Miami Heat managed to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, securing a victory in Game 2. The Heat, known for their resilience throughout the postseason, once again defied the odds in a hostile arena where no road team had won in over two months.
Led by Gabe Vincent's impressive 23-point performance, as well as strong contributions from Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, each scoring 21 points, the Heat prevailed with a final score of 111-108. The game showcased the Heat's competitive spirit and their ability to thrive in high-pressure moments.
Despite facing a significant 15-point deficit and trailing by eight going into the fourth quarter, the Heat remained undeterred. The Nuggets had been undefeated in the playoffs when leading by double digits, but the Heat refused to be intimidated. They quickly outscored the Nuggets 17-5 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, seizing the lead and eventually building a 12-point advantage. Although they allowed the Nuggets to narrow the gap in the final moments, surviving a last-second 3-point attempt by Jamal Murray, the Heat emerged victorious.
Max Strus, who struggled in Game 1, redeemed himself by contributing 14 points, while Duncan Robinson made all of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, playing a pivotal role in the Heat's comeback. Nikola Jokic had a remarkable game for the Nuggets, scoring 41 points, but his efforts weren't enough to secure a win for his team.
The loss at home was particularly significant for the Nuggets, as it marked their first defeat since March 30 and the first in their 10 home playoff games this year. Nuggets coach Michael Malone expressed concern about his team's effort, emphasizing that playing with discipline was crucial in the NBA Finals.
Game 3 is scheduled to take place in Miami, where the Heat will look to build on their newfound momentum.
Nuggets: Jokic became the 14th different player in NBA history to score at least 41 in a finals loss. ... Denver hadn’t lost a game since May 7 — four weeks ago. … Nuggets legends Alex English, LaPhonso Ellis (who actually ended his NBA career with Miami) and David Thompson were among those in attendance.
Injured Heat guard Tyler Herro played 2-on-2 on Saturday as he continues his efforts to try to return from a broken hand at some point in these finals — but remained out. Herro got hurt in the first half of Game 1 of Round 1 at Milwaukee. His status for Game 3 is unclear.
Commissioner Adam Silver told NBA TV before the game that negotiations for the next media rights deal are now a priority since the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been ratified — and how expansion talk will come after that.
Silver said he thinks the media deal negotiations will begin “in earnest probably this next spring.” And after that, plans to add franchises will be the next item on the to-do list.
“We don’t have anything specific in mind right now,” Silver said. “But I think it makes sense over time if you’re a successful organization to continue to grow. There’s no doubt there’s a lot of great cities we’re interested in having in the NBA.”