NUGGETS

Nuggets make a statement in Game 1 win against the Heat

Jun 1, 2023, 8:44 PM | Updated: 10:49 pm

The oddsmakers loved the Nuggets, as Denver was a 9.0-point favorite in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But not everyone in the basketball world was convinced, as the Heat were getting plenty of consideration from the national pundits.

While one game doesn’t make a series, the Nuggets did send a message in the opener. Denver rolled to a 104-93 victory, moving to within three wins of their first-even championship.

The Nuggets dominated from the outset. Denver led by nine at the end of the first quarter, 17 at halftime and 21 after three. The Heat made a couple of mini-runs, but it was never enough to make things interesting. The game was not as close as the final score might indicate.

But that’s not where the Nuggets most showed their dominance. That came on their all-around effort.

Not surprisingly, Nikola Jokic led the way. The two-time MVP had 27 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

But he wasn’t alone. Aaron Gordon got the Nuggets rolling scoring 12 first-quarter points on his way to 16 for the game. Jamal Murray finished with 26. Michael Porter Jr. had 14.

It didn’t seem to matter what the Heat took away. The Nuggets always had an answer.

The end result was a dominant performance. And Denver is now three wins away from a title.

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