Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat: who leads the season series?
The Denver Nuggets are set for their first NBA Finals game in franchise history and they will host the Miami Heat on Thursday night from Ball Arena.
We are all set for the NBA Finals as the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat are making final preparations for a best of seven title showdown. Before we look towards Game 1 on Thursday night, we should take a look back at the season series between the two Finalists.
The two teams played twice throughout the year, one of which was a game that wrapped up the calendar year and the other came just before the All-Star Break. Denver got the best of the Heat in both the Rockies and in South Beach.
In the first matchup between the Heat and the Nugs from Denver, it was the home side’s studs who rallied to carry their team to victory in front of their home fans. Nikola Jokic posted a triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists and Jamal Murray caught fire late to down the Heat.
Denver jumped out to the early lead thanks to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and his perfect 7/7 night from the field, but Denver would lose that early lead in the second quarter to wait until the final minutes of the fourth to get it back.
Murray scored 7 of his 14 points in the final two minutes of the game on a night where the Nugs turned the ball over 20 times. Mike Malone’s side made up for the giveaways by shooting 59.2% from the field and 60.7 from downtown to seal the 124-119 win at Ball Arena.
It was another tight game in the second match up of the season when these two teams met in February from Dade County. It was just days before Valentine’s Day that the two clubs destined for a date in the Finals met for the last time in the regular season.
The Nuggets were on pace for a record setting first half of the season and the Heat were looking to surprise the team with the then best record in the league before the All-Star Break.
Nikola Jokic wasn’t in the mood for any pre-Valentine’s surprises, going 12/14 from the field and posting 24, 12 rebound and 8 assists on a night in which the Nuggets were without Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon.
Jokic and company went 29/40 scoring 58 points in the paint as they held off Jimmy Butler and the Heat. Butler scored 24 points and brought Miami to within a point after falling behind 10 in the fourth, but they never took the lead from the Nuggets in the final 20 minutes of the game.
What to expect
Taking a look a recent history you might give the edge to the Nuggets since they won both games proving they can win at home or on the road, but this is a different Heat team than we saw in the middle of the regular season. Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin have both had break out postseasons, but as always beating the Nuggets will comedown to stoping Nikola Jokic, and no one has figured out how to do that during the playoffs.