NBA Finals: Miami’s fourth-quarter explosion leads to Game 2 win over Nuggets

Miami Heat In Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, they needed a fourth-quarter surge to come back and defeat the Denver Nuggets 111-108.

The Heat started the final quarter on a 17–4 run, taking the lead, but nuggets The Heat were able to use an 11–2 run of their own to get within three points with less than 90 seconds to play.

However, the Heat were able to overcome desperation mode, as Jimmy Butler closed in on a stepback Jamal Murray three-pointer that would have sent the game to overtime at the final buzzer.

Murray’s shot was just short, hitting the front rim as the clock hit zero – just as Miami wanted.


Max Strauss #31 of the Miami Heat shoots a three point basket during Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals. (Jesse D. Garbrant / NBAE via Getty Images)

getting a game to go your way on the road is always a playoff successAnd one of the main reasons that came out was to make three balls.

Miami, which leads all playoff teams in three-point percentage after this season, struggled in Game 1 of the Finals, particularly with Max Strauss and Gabe Vincent going past the arc.

Strauss was an astonishing 0-for-10 from the field in Game 1, including nine missed threes. But, as the saying goes, the shooters shot.

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Strauss had four hits in the first quarter to get Miami off to a hot start (they won the quarter 26–23). He would miss his next six attempts from deep, but the Heat needed that production.

Vincent was even better, going 4-of-6 from three, and 8-of-12 overall for a team-high 23 points, three assists and two steals for the Heat.

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Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles against Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat during the second quarter in Game Two of the 2023 NBA Finals. (Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Butler came through clutch in the fourth quarter – a common occurrence these days – when he finished 7-for-19 for 21 points with nine assists and four rebounds. Bam Adebayo also contributed 21 points of his own on 8-of-14 from the field, adding a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.

As a team, the Heat shot 48.6% from three, which is a recipe for success when trying to beat the Nuggets.

On Denver’s end, Nikola Jokic didn’t have a triple-double like the first game, but he dropped 41 points on 16-for-28 to lead the game in that category. He had 11 rebounds to get a double-double, but only four assists, taking the scoring into his own hands on Sunday night.

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It was strange to see Murray with only 18 points considering how he’s been performing in these playoffs – he’s averaging 27 points per night since entering Game 2. He had 18 points on 7-of-15 from the field (3-of-8 from three).

Aaron Gordon provided 12 points and seven rebounds, while Bruce Brown came off the bench with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

With the loss, Denver clinched its first playoff game at home.

Jimmy Butler Lay

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #5 of the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter in Game Two of the 2023 NBA Finals. (Justin Edmonds / Getty Images)

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Game 3 will take place in Miami on Wednesday with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m.