The Denver Nuggets came out in the organization’s first NBA Finals and continued their dominating streak at home in the NBA Playoffs.
Denver defeated the Miami Heat in Game 1, 104-93, remaining undefeated at home throughout the playoffs.
Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic also picked up right where he left off in the Western Conference Finals against Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, recording their sixth triple-double in their last seven playoff games.
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Jokic is now only the second player to record a triple-double in his nba finals debut, with Jason Kidd being the first to accomplish the feat in 2002.
He is only the eighth NBA player to have a triple-double in Game 1 of the Finals and only the second in the last 25 years to have 10 assists at halftime of an NBA Finals game.
Jokic finished the night with 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
“I don’t need to shoot, and I know I don’t need to score to affect the game,” Jokic said.
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Jokic’s running mate Jamal Murray was also brilliant in his debut in the final, scoring 26 points and adding 10 assists.
“I think that’s the beauty of this team,” Murray said. “We have so many different weapons and so many different looks. You have to protect everyone… It just flows freely and it’s a lot of fun.”
Miami made its own history in Game 1, but not the kind they’ll want to remember.
The Heat shot and made just two free throws, the fewer free throws ever made and attempted in an NBA Finals game.
“We have to attack the rim a lot more, including myself,” Heat star Jimmy Butler said.
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Before Thursday, Miami was 3-0 in the opening game of a series in these playoffs, winning all three on the road as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
“That was one of my last messages to the group before our game,” Nuggets coach. michael malone saying. “I reminded our group, if they didn’t know, that Miami went to Milwaukee and they won Game 1. They went to the Garden in New York City and they won Game 1. They won Game 1 in Boston. So, I don’t want them to Come in here and take control of the series on our court.”
Game 2 of the NBA Finals is Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Associated Press contributed to this report