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Finals Game Five: Joker's Wild

The Denver Nuggets survive a wild fourth quarter to capture their first NBA Championship in franchise history

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 11 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - June 2023

When the Denver Nuggets took Games Three and Four so so easily in Miami, I knew that it would be over. I was looking forward to Game Five, because it was back in Denver's Ball Arena, and the Nuggets have a good chance to clinch their very first NBA Championship on their home court. To be honest, I expected the Nuggets to flat out demolish the Miami Heat--you know, just get it over with and celebrate.

The Heat, however, had other plans.

To my surprise, the Heat really gave the Nuggets quite the scare in the entire first half, leading by two after one quarter and actually leading by seven at halftime. Now, I knew that the Heat would not win three straight in this Finals. Only one team in NBA history had comeback from down 3-1 to win the Finals, so there was no way the Heat could do this. However, one win at a time could get it done, and at least force Game Six back in Miami.

The Nuggets, however, had other plans.

The Nuggets started to claw back in the third period, and while the Heat still had a lead entering the fourth quarter, a tide was starting to turn. The fourth quarter was wild and crazy, and back and forth. Denver took the lead and built it up, but we saw some controversy in the latter half of the quarter. With the Heat down four, Jimmy Butler was apparently fouled by Aaron Gordon in the act of shooting a three-pointer. The replay clearly showed that no contact was made, but after a challenge, the call was upheld. Butler made all three free throws to cut Miami's deficit to one, and they actually led late, but Denver fought back and took their lead back, and never relented. The long wait was over. It was time to celebrate.

Final score: Nuggets 94, Heat 89.

Nikola Jokic was named NBA Finals MVP

Let me tell you a little story that involves another sport. I am a diehard Colorado Avalanche fan, and it's because of the Avs that I'm fascinated by the state of Colorado. For so long, the Avalanche and Nuggets have shared that same arena: Ball Arena (formerly known as the Pepsi Center). As the years went by, my fandom of hockey and the Avs reached a point where I felt that the Nuggets weren't even worthy of playing in the same place as the Avs (I've even said that the Avs should ban the Nuggets from playing in Ball Arena). That tribalism increased big time after the Avs won last year. I've said that the Nuggets were embarrassing the state of Colorado. I've even said Nikola Jokic was embarrassing the state of Colorado.

Nice to see myself proven dead wrong.

Jokic scored 600 points in the entire playoffs, and led the playoffs in the three main triple-double categories. Without question, he won the Finals MVP, though honestly, the NBA could have given him the Conn Smythe treatment and named him as the MVP of the entire playoffs. So yeah, Jokic definitely belongs on that Mount Rushmore in Colorado sports: for me it would be Jokic, Joe Sakic, Nathan MacKinnon, and John Elway.

Ever since the 2020 bubble, Nuggets fans have said that if Jamal Murray was healthy, Denver would have won then. Well, this year definitely proved that. It's funny. I've spent so much time not respecting the Nuggets, and it took this year's West Finals for me to see that the last four seasons for both the Nuggets and Avalanche have been so similar. Another similarity that last year's Avs and this year's Nuggets share: both teams went 16-4 in the playoffs. The Nuggets dispatched of the Minnesota Timberwolves in five games, the heavyweight Phoenix Suns in six games, swept the Los Angeles Lakers, and won the Finals in five games over the Miami Heat. What a run!

Speaking of the Miami Heat, what a run for them as well! The second #8 seed to reach the Finals, and the first play-in team to ever do so. Even crazier: the Heat actually lost the first play-in game (for the #7 seed) to start their run. It was amazing what the Heat did this year, but when it came to the Finals, the Nuggets were just too much for them. The Heat have a lot to be proud of, and they should really drink in this run--it's definitely one to remember.

So Denver is celebrating for the second straight year; last year, it was the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup, and this year's it's the Nuggets winning their first-ever NBA Championship. The Nuggets became the second of the four former ABA franchises to win an NBA Championship, with the San Antonio Spurs becoming the first in 1999. Time will tell if the Nuggets can do it again, but for now, the city of Denver has to do 46 years' worth of celebrating.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

Twitter - Facebook - Tiktok - Instagram

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Comments (13)

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  • Dana Crandell10 months ago

    Great tribute from a true fan, Clyde! Congratulations!

  • Elisandro Pedro11 months ago

    That was well deserved. They played very well

  • Dana Stewart11 months ago

    Great article Clyde. I was rooting for Denver. Love to watch Jimmy Butler play though. I was hoping Miami would pull it out so we’d get more games. Congratulations on the Top Story.

  • Recca Addei11 months ago

    Great story

  • Babs Iverson11 months ago

    Fabulous story and Denver's first NBA championship!!! Congratulations on Top Story too!!@♥️♥️💕

  • Christian Umah 11 months ago

    Congratulations on your story.

  • Good luck

  • Brandon Stuart11 months ago

    Your article on the NBA championship was absolutely exceptional.You provided valuable context, highlighting the key moments that shaped the outcome of the championship. Your writing style was compelling and engaging, keeping me hooked from start to finish. Your passion for the subject matter shone through in every word, making the article a joy to read. I will definitely be subscribing. Feel free to check out my profile, I've recently started writing articles on various topics, and I believe you would find them interesting and valuable. If you enjoy what you read, I would greatly appreciate your support by subscribing, subscribing will ensure that you never miss an article, and you'll be notified whenever I publish new content. I encourage you to leave a comment Your feedback and insights are incredibly valuable to me, Thank you in advance for taking the time to explore my articles. Your support means the world to me, and I genuinely value your feedback.

  • Cathy holmes11 months ago

    and that's that for NBA season. Good for Denver for winning their first chip. Congrats on the TS

  • Bobby Gilmer11 months ago

    Great story Clyde. Happy for you and all Nuggets fans.

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Terry Silver11 months ago

    The Denver Nuggets winning is no surprise. Excellent teamwork. Many talented players.

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