How Nuggets dismantled Heat in Game 4

MIAMI — The Denver Nuggets are one victory from the franchise’s first NBA championship.

Denver topped the Miami Heat 108-95 Friday in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, taking a 3-1 series lead.

Nuggets star Nikola Jokic continued his MVP-like dominance with 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks, and Aaron Gordon delivered a playoff-career high 27 points along with six rebounds and six assists.

Game 5 is Monday in Denver (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC), and the Nuggets can close out the series in front of their fans.

Whether it’s that game or another in the series, history is on Denver’s side. A team that takes a 3-1 series lead is 267-13 in the NBA playoffs, and teams are 35-1 in the NBA Finals when up 3-1. The Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 became the only team to come back from a 3-1 deficit (against Golden State) and win the title.

USA TODAY Sports will bring you the latest news, updates, analysis and more throughout Game 4. Follow along.

It was simply a solid, efficient all-around performance from the Nuggets. It didn’t require a triple-double from Jokic or a 30-point performance from Jamal Murray. Denver’s starters outscored Miami’s starters 83-59, and the Nuggets shot 49.4% from the field and 50% on 3-pointers.

Murray had 15 points and 12 assists (he’s reached at least 10 assists in every game of the Finals), Michael Porter Jr. scored 11 points, and reserve Bruce Brown had 21 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, as Denver’s overall talent put away Miami.

Gordon scored 16 of his points in the first half, including 15 in the second quarter. It was a return to the Nuggets’ Game 1 plan when they wanted Gordon to take advantage of his size mismatch against the Heat. Gordon’s corner 3 at the end of the third quarter gave Denver an 86-73 lead.

Jokic picked up his fifth personal foul with 9:24 left in the fourth quarter and Denver ahead 86-76. He took a spot on the bench, and even though the Heat were as close as 91-85, when Jokic returned…

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Author : USA TODAY

Publish date : 2023-06-10 03:18:25

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