Nuggets silence Heat with 109-94 Game 3 win to take 2-1 NBA Finals lead as Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have 30-point triple-doubles
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.
But 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.
Jokic also made history in the contest, as his 30-20-10 effort was the first such performance in the NBA Finals history.
Nikola Jokic had a 30-point triple-double as the Nuggets grabbed a massive win on the road
But the humble Serbian star made sure to give Braun his flowers after the game.
‘I always talk about him as a champion, as a winner,’ Jokic told told ESPN after the game.
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.
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 the team just shot 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