On Monday, the Denver Nuggets secured their maiden championship in the NBA after 47 seasons, defeating the Miami Heat 94-89. Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets to victory with 28 points and 16 rebounds.
The Nuggets triumphed over the Miami Heat with a 4-1 victory in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, bringing the Mile High City its first-ever NBA crown. The sellout crowd erupted in delight, while the defeat marked Miami’s third loss in the finals within the last 10 seasons.
Afterward, Nuggets coach Michael Malone stated, “I have news for everybody out there. We’re not content with just one title. We aspire for more.”
This championship triumph completed the outstanding career of Serbian superstar Jokic, an eight-year veteran in the NBA who has been crowned the Most Valuable Player twice and has earned All-Star honors five times.
Just two days after his countryman Novak Djokovic clinched his record 23rd Grand Slam tennis title at the French Open, Jokic was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
Despite the team’s shooting struggles, Jokic led his team’s remarkable effort, with Denver preventing Miami from scoring for over five minutes in the fourth quarter.
“It was an incredible effort by the team,” Jokic remarked. “It was an unattractive game. We were unable to make shots. However, in the end, we found a way to defend, and we scored 90 points. That’s why we emerged as the winners. I’m simply thrilled that we won the game. It’s great. The job is done, and now we can return home.”
Denver held the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs, while the Miami Heat had to win a play-in game to secure a playoff spot. However, they subsequently caused upsets by defeating the league-leading Milwaukee, New York, and Boston to reach the finals.
Michael Porter Jr. contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Jamal Murray provided 14 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists for the Nuggets.
“We’re winning for our teammates,” Jokic affirmed. “That’s why this victory means so much. Everything we’ve achieved this year is incredible. We believe in one another.”
Jimmy Butler led Miami’s scoring with 21 points, and Bam Adebayo added 20 points and 12 rebounds.
With their seasons on the line, both teams exhibited intensity and physical defense in the closing minutes, creating an electrifying atmosphere at Ball Arena.
With 6:43 remaining, Jamal Murray’s jumper handed Denver an 81-76 lead, while the Heat struggled in the fourth quarter, converting only 2 of their 14 field goal attempts and remaining scoreless for over five minutes.
Butler, who had struggled throughout the game, responded with consecutive 3-pointers and converted three free throws after a contentious foul on Denver’s Aaron Gordon was confirmed following video review.
Butler and Jokic exchanged baskets, and Butler followed with two free throws, putting Miami ahead 89-88.
Bruce Brown countered with a putback basket, granting Denver a 90-88 lead, and Max Strus missed a 3-pointer for Miami, resulting in Denver gaining possession with 1:09 remaining.
Jokic and Gordon missed their shots, but Strus secured the rebound for Miami.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope intercepted a pass from Butler and sank two crucial free throws with 24 seconds left, giving Denver a 92-89 advantage.
Butler missed a 3-pointer, Brown secured the rebound for Denver, and then made two free throws, sealing the victory with 14 seconds left.