For the first time in 47 years, the Denver Nuggets have won an NBA championship title. Their victory came after beating the Miami Heat 94-89 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. It certainly wasn’t an effortless win: The Heat were ahead by 10 points in the first half of the game on June 12, and with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, they were ahead by one point. However, Denver proved too strong.
The Heat Cool Down
Despite a poor shooting performance of just five successful shots from 28 attempts from beyond the arc and a free throw percentage of 13–23, the Nuggets managed to stay competitive thanks to Nikola Jokic’s inspirational leadership, putting them in a potential position to secure a win.
After being crowned NBA Finals Player of the Year, the two-time MVP scored a whopping 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. With a total of 10 three-pointers during the playoff series, he surpassed Wilt Chamberlain’s record for most seasons in a single playoff series, making this performance the icing on the cake of an impressive story.
Completing the game, the 28-year-old secured the unprecedented achievement of leading in points, rebounds and assists throughout a single postseason series, marking his place in the NBA record books. In addition, he won the prestigious NBA Finals MVP award, a feat accomplished by only one other player since 2002: Shaquille O’Neal, who was then playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.
By scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, Michael Porter Jr. played a pivotal role in leading the Denver Nuggets to victory over the Miami Heat. In addition, Jamal Murray maintained his consistent form, adding 14 points while securing eight rebounds and providing eight assists. Although Miami’s Bam Adebayo contributed 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, it wasn’t enough to stop the Nuggets.
Even though Jimmy Butler was the driving force behind the team’s impressive winning streak, he faced difficulties for most of the game. However, in the fourth quarter, Butler made a comeback and scored a total of 21 points.
The fifth game of the series proved to be exciting due to Kyle Lowry’s exceptional performance. He managed to hit four three-pointers and secure nine rebounds while showcasing his skills from previous days.
Jokic and Murray Set A Record
No other player in the NBA Finals, the playoffs or the entire season has accomplished what Jokic and Murray did: Both posted a triple-double of 30 points in the same game. Their impressive performances were unmatched in both individual and team competitions.
Throughout the match, Jokic showed his excellent skills and showed why he is among the top five players in average points, rebounds and assists per game. During the playoffs, he nearly achieved a triple-double with impressive stats of 30 points, 13.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game. In addition, Jokic made history by becoming the first player in the NBA Finals to achieve a triple-double of 30-20-10.
Murray’s potential to lead his team to an NBA title was doubtful after a year of battling an ACL. However, he not only guided the Denver Nuggets to victory, but also accomplished a personal feat.
During the NBA playoffs, Murray had an impressive performance with 26.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game on average. A notable achievement for the duo of Murray and Jokic was becoming the first players in NBA history to maintain an average of 25 points, five rebounds and five assists per game during the playoffs.