Nikola Jokić took over once again.
After blowing a late lead in Game 2, Jokić and the Nuggets rolled to a convincing 109-94 win over the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night. The Nuggets, thanks to yet another historic triple-double from Jokić and a 32-point triple-double performance from Jamal Murray, easily pushed ahead of the Heat in the second half to take a 2-1 series lead.
Denver held only a 5-point lead at halftime, and the two teams bounced back and forth throughout the first two quarters. Murray and Jokić, however, absolutely dominated. Jokić entered halftime just three rebounds shy of his triple-double, and Murray entered the locker room with 20 points.
The Nuggets then quickly pushed that lead to 14 points in the third quarter before opening the fourth quarter on an 11-4 run. Just like that, Denver held a 21-point lead. Though the Heat briefly cut the game to single digits in the final minutes, the Nuggets held on to take the 15-point win.
Jokić finished with 32 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the NBA Finals. He’s also the first player in league history to put up at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a Finals game. Only two other players, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain, have put up that stat line in a playoff game in general.
Murray had a triple-double of his own, too. He added 34 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds in the win for Denver. Former Kansas star Christian Braun shined in the second half, too. He put up all 15 of his points in the final 24 minutes and shot a near-perfect 7-of-8 from the field.
Game 4 of the series is set for Friday night in Miami.
What: NBA Finals, Game 4 (Nuggets lead 2-1)
Who: Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat
When: 8:30 p.m. ET Friday
Where: Kaseya Center, Miami
Game 5: At Denver, 8:30 p.m. ET Monday (ABC)
*Game 6: At Miami, 8:30 p.m. ET June 15 (ABC)
*Game 7: At Denver, 8 p.m. ET June 18 (ABC)
* - if necessary