Game 2 of the NBA Finals tipped off last night, and it did not disappoint. The Heat and Nuggets battled for 3 quarters, but the 4th quarter proved to be decisive, and quite possible altered the rest of the entire series. Going into the 4th quarter, the Heat were trailing by 8 points. Nikola Jokic was his usual dominant self, and the Heat once again had absolutely no answer for him. It sure looked like the Nuggets were going to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. It wasn’t meant to be, however.
Duncan Robinson came in big in the 4th quarter, scoring all 10 of his points within the first couple of minutes of the final frame. As expected, Jimmy Butler stepped up big time as well, hitting multiple clutch shots including a corner 3. It was a total team effort, and when the quarter was over, the Heat managed to score 36 points to stun the Nuggets and even the series. Now, it’s a best of 5 series. The Heat have homecourt advantage now as well. It was arguably the most important quarter of the entire season, and the Heat, as they have throughout the entire postseason, stepped up when it mattered most. In our last article, we spoke about how the Heat needed to bring it offensively to have a chance, as the Nuggets weren’t going to be held down forever. Gabe Vincent stepped up in a major way, leading the Heat in scoring. We knew Butler and Bam Adebayo would continue stepping up, but the Heat simply needed other players to contribute. That’s what the Nuggets are thinking now. Jokic was awesome, scoring 41 points, but the next closest scorer for the Nuggets was Jamal Murray with 18 points. No one else had more than 12 points, aside from Jokic and Murray. That just isn’t going to cut it.
Coming into the first 2 games, the Heat would’ve been thrilled with splitting the first two games of the series. That’s exactly what they did. We shift back to Miami for Game 3 on Wednesday night. Needless to say, that Miami crowd is going to be absolutely crazy.
Game 3 can’t come soon enough.