DENVER — The recipe that worked for the Nuggets in Game 1 did the same for the Heat in Game 2.
Miami utilized a balanced offensive attack to steal a road win from Denver on Sunday night, as five players reached double figures in the Heat’s 111-108 win at Ball Arena.
It was a mirror image for the Nuggets, who had a well-rounded performance from all of their starters in Game 1 Thursday.
Instead, they relied too heavily on Nikola Jokić as they were dealt a loss on their home court for the first time this postseason (9-1 overall). Denver hadn't lost at Ball Arena since March, during the regular season.
"This is the NBA Finals and lack of effort is a concern of mine," head coach Michael Malone said. "Miami came in here and out-worked us."
Jokić finished with a double-double that entailed scoring game-high 41 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. But three players — Gabe Vincent, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler — contributed more than 20 points each for the Heat.
Despite Denver leading by as many as 15 points, with advantages at halftime and after the third quarter, Miami closed the game by outscoring the Nuggets 36-25 in the final quarter to come away with the win.
Jamal Murray had a 3-point attempt to tie the game at the final buzzer, which struck the rim and backboard before bouncing away.
"If we play like that, we have to expect to lose like that," said Murray, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. "We can't play like that. If we play away, home, on the road -- doesn't matter. We got to have a better showing."
The best-of-seven championship series is tied up at one game apiece as it next shifts to Miami for Games 3 and 4.
Game 3 is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (MT) Wednesday at Kaseya Center.
"We didn't want to lose, but we lost," Jokić said. "Hopefully we're going to go there (Miami) and win the next one."
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: NBA Finals 2023
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