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Nuggets take NBA Finals lead with Game 3 win

Denver cruised to a 109-94 victory over the Miami Heat in the third game of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.

MIAMI — The Nuggets are halfway home in their first NBA Finals.

Denver cruised to a 109-94 victory over the Heat in Game 3 on Wednesday night as the best-of-seven championship series shifted to Miami for the next two matchups.

The two-man show of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray powered the Nuggets to victory as both recorded triple-doubles.

The Joker finished with 32 points, 21 rebounds, 10 assists -- while Murray scored 20 points in the first half, finishing with a game-high 34, along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. 

"It's a lot of unselfishness," Murray said. "It's free-flowing. If something is there, we go. If not, we don't force it...The consistency doesn't get talked about enough."

It was the first time in NBA history that two players from the same team both had 30-point triple-doubles in the same game.

Credit: AP
Denver Nuggets guard Christian Braun (0) drives to the basket as Miami Heat center Cody Zeller (44) defends during the second half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball game, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

"By far, their greatest performance as a duo in their 7 years together," head coach Michael Malone said. "We've had some pretty good moments, but not in the NBA Finals."

Defensively, Denver held Miami to 37% from the field and contained Heat stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo from having breakout performances. The Nuggets also dominated the battle on the boards, out-rebounding the Heat 58-33.

Denver has a 2-1 series lead and is just two wins away from its first NBA title in franchise history.

Both teams will return for Game 4 at 6:30 p.m. (MT) Friday night at Kaseya Center.

"It's not just us, it's a team," Jokic said. "The Denver Nuggets need to beat Miami. Not me or Jamal. We as a group need to beat them." 

Credit: AP
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) aims to score as Miami Heat guard Max Strus (31) defends during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball game, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)



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