The end of the 47-year wait was sweet.
The Denver Nuggets, making their first trip to the Finals since joining the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976, won Game 1 behind a big game from ace Nikola Jokic. Jokic joined the ranks of legends by recording a triple-double in his Finals debut.
Denver won Game 1 of the 2022-23 NBA Finals (best-of-seven) 104-93 over the Miami Heat on Sunday at Mile High City Arena in Denver, Colorado, USA. Jokic, a center who thrives on creating for his teammates, finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists for his ninth triple-double in this year’s playoffs.
Only two players have ever recorded a triple-double in their Finals debut – Jokic and Jason Kidd in 2002. Jokic is also only the second player since Michael Jordan in 1991 to record a career-high in points and assists in his debut. His 14 assists are also a Finals record for a center. Only LeBron James (2017) and Jokic had more than 10 assists in the first half.
With more than 10 days of rest following their four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets were concerned about their lack of practice, but they cruised to victory, never losing the lead after an early 6-7 first quarter. They led 59-42 at halftime and briefly trailed in the third quarter, but back-to-back baskets by Jeff Green and Jokic put them back in front.
Jokic, a native of Serbia, has been with Denver since 2015 and has established himself as one of the league’s top players. He won the regular season Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 2021 and 2022. This season, he averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 9.8 assists in the regular season. In the playoffs, he’s even better, averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 10.3 assists. For a big man, he has a precise outside shot and is an excellent passer, averaging over 10 assists per game.
After the Game 1 win, Jokic emphasized the importance of team play, saying, “Winning the game any way you can is the most important thing,” adding, “I know I don’t have to make shots, and I know I don’t have to score to have an impact on the game.”토토사이트
Miami, which pushed the Eastern Conference Finals to a best-of-seven series with the Boston Celtics and is seeking its first-ever “eight-seed” championship, was hampered by stamina issues. Miami star Jimmy Butler was limited to 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Game 2 between the two teams will be held at the same venue at 9 a.m. on Nov. 5.