Miami Heat steal Game 2 in Denver to even NBA Finals series
DENVER ― Miami’s Jimmy Butler had an escape room outing planned for Saturday.
It was a metaphor.
The Heat unlocked the door to victory, beating the Denver Nuggets 111-108 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, tying the best-of-seven series 1-1 and adding intrigue.
Denver’s Jamal Murray missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer that could’ve forced overtime.
Miami used an impressive fourth quarter, overcoming an 83-75 deficit and outscoring the Nuggets 36-25 in the final 12 minutes. Gabe Vincent led Miami with 23 points, Bam Adebayo added 21 points and nine rebounds and Butler finished with 21 points and nine assists.
The series moves to Miami for the next two games with Game 3 on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
The Heat were better in the second game after a sluggish performance in Game 1 coming off a seven-game Eastern Conference finals series against Boston.
They did what they said they would do. The Heat were more aggressive, made more 3-pointers, shot 20 free throws, 18 more than they did in Game 1, and limited the scoring of Denver players not named Nikola Jokic. He scored 18 of his game-high 41 points in the third quarter.
The Heat, who have won at least one road game in the opening two games of a playoff series this season, made a decision: Jokic will score. Don’t let the rest of the Nuggets beat you. Jamal Murray had just 18 points after 26 points and 10 assists in Game 1, Michael Porter Jr. had just five points and six rebounds after 14 and 12 in the opener and Aaron Gordon had 12 points after 16 in Game 1.
The Heat made 17 shots from behind the arc on 48.6% shooting, a significant improvement over 33.3% shooting in Game 1.