Losing its first postseason home game, Denver is robbed of the home-court advantage by Miami.
DENVER – The Miami Heat now have the Denver Nuggets exactly where they want them.
The Heat’s 111-108 victory in Game 2 of the NBA Finals accomplished a number of things at once.
It brought this series to a 1-1 tie. For anyone still believed it, it dispelled the fantasy that everything would be simple, clear, and certain for Denver. It gave Miami an unmatched confidence, or it served as a reminder of what already exists.
The Heat have a propensity to “do it the hard way,” as their head coach likes to say, and they did it once more.
Additionally, it returned Miami to the course that had brought it here in the first place.
Miami, an eight-seed, was similarly knotted at 1-1 in its first two postseason series, against the Milwaukee Bucks and then the New York Knicks. In both instances, there were concerns about their capacity to convert those early-series ties into three more victories.
They ultimately defeated New York in six games and Milwaukee in five.
“Our boys adore competition. In those crucial times, they enjoy putting themselves out there, according to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “Thank goodness, we were able to come up with a lot of big defensive plays down the stretch, and then we got a lot of contributions, which you’re going to need against a team like this,” said the coach.
Miami once again shown the style of play that has brought them this far in a variety of ways. a resolute refusal to give in to uncertainty, manifested on Sunday in the person of Max Strus. Strus had a score of 0 for 10 in Game 1—including a score of 0 for 9 from three—but he got Game 2 off to a dazzling start by making 4 of 7 threes for 12 points in the opening quarter. It served as a catalyst for his team’s behaviour the rest of the evening.
Then there was Gabe Vincent, who struggled in Game 1 and finished 8 of 12 for 23 points.
Jimmy Butler also contributed to Miami turning an eight-point deficit into a victory that altered the course of the entire series by scoring eight of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets took leads often, and it appeared that they were halfway to winning a championship at the time. Early in the second quarter, Denver led by seven points. 15 later, near the end of the frame. For the majority of the third quarter, there were only a few points, and towards the end of the third quarter, there were eight points.
But Miami persisted, refusing to completely give in to what many others perceived as perhaps inevitable.
“I queried the group. You people tell me why we lost, I questioned them. Coach of the Nuggets Michael Malone remarked, “And they knew the response. “We were by far the least disciplined team in this game of these 16 or 17 playoff games, whatever it is now, Miami came in here and outworked us. So many failures.
They scored after taking advantage of each of our mistakes, he continued. “We need to outwork Miami, which we didn’t do tonight, if we want to try to go down there and take back control of this series and get home-court advantage.”
As they have repeatedly throughout this postseason, the Heat just dominated the game when it counted the most. Once again, the team’s toughness, belief, and willpower were evident.
They also regularly baffled Nuggets players who weren’t named Nikola Jokic during the course of the game. 41 points and 11 rebounds were recorded by the two-time MVP. However, that was always the strategy; if necessary, let Jokic score, but prevent the other potential stars from emerging.
The Heat’s defence accomplished that. Even though Jamal Murray put on a show in the fourth quarter, making several big baskets to keep Denver in the game, he missed the opportunity to tie the game, which would have forced OT. But as evidenced by his 18-point performance, Miami had basically rendered him ineffectual for the majority of the game.
Momentum may be very powerful. Similarly, when it is widespread and sincere, belief is.
Now, Miami has both.