Jimmy Butler in the game at the Denver Nuggets
Photo: BOB PEARSON / EPA
The Miami Heat equalized in the NBA Finals and won the thrilling second game in the series against the Denver Nuggets. In Colorado, Miami won 15-111 on Sunday evening (local time) despite being 108 points behind. With 17 of 35, the Florida team converted almost half of its attempts before the three-point line (Nuggets: 11 of 28).
Ahead of the upcoming two games in Florida, the momentum is on the side of the Heat, who started the playoffs of the best basketball league in the world as the eighth seeded team in the Eastern Conference and have since prevailed against all of the favored opponents. For the Nuggets, it was the first home loss in the playoffs this season and the first since March 30.
The 41 points and 11 rebounds of Nuggets star Nikola Jokic were not enough, because the Heat turned an eight-point deficit into a twelve-point lead in the final quarter and could not be disturbed.
Vincent as the Heat's top scorer
Gabe Vincent scored 23 points for Miami, while Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo had 21 points each. "These are the finals. You have to win one away from home," said Heat pro Adebayo. We have to do it on the defensive. The most important thing for us is that we have to get stops."
The third game of the final series is on Thursday night in Miami. For the championship, a team needs four victories.
Denver had won the first game of the series 104-93 – and the game was less close than the final score might suggest. Many experts had already speculated about a sweep – i.e. a 4-0 win after victories – because of the superiority of the team from Colorado. For both top stars, Jokic and Butler, it would be the first NBA title of their careers. Jokic, however, has already won the league's most valuable player award twice.