Coming into Game 3 of the NBA Finals, we talked about how Jamal Murray needed to step up from a disappointing Game 2 performance. Nikola Jokic has done whatever he wanted to do in this series, but the Nuggets would need more from Robin to help Batman finish the job and get another win closer to a title. That’s exactly what happened in Game 3. Jamal Murray led all point scorers with 34, and added 10 rebounds with 10 assists, for the most consequential triple-double of his career. Jokic was his typical dominant self, adding another triple-double to the fold, including an impressive 21 rebounds. The result? The Nuggets dominated virtually every aspect of the 2nd half, going up by as many as 21 points. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo did all they could to keep the Heat in the game, scoring 50 of the 94 points the team scored. However, that’s just not a winning formula. The only other player to score in double digits for them was Caleb Martin, finishing with 10 points.
Coming into this series, most fans and analysts agreed that the Nuggets simply had the better roster. Miami’s ability to win was predicated on them playing timely defense and hitting key shots. They did that in the 4th quarter of Game 2, but those moments have been few and far between. The defense has done its job, as many people expected it would. But scoring 94 or less points twice in 3 games just isn’t going to cut it. The Heat have been held to 25 or less points in 8 quarters so far this series. They simply have to hit more shots to win games and keep this series going.
It’s a quicker turnaround for Game 4 of the series. Game 4 is tomorrow night, with tip-off at 8:30pm Est. Fortunately for the Heat, Game 4 is in their building. Unfortunately, it’s essentially a must-win game. Lose Game 4, and Denver has a chance to close out the series at home in Game 5. Needless to say, all of the pressure is on Miami in Game 4. However, that’s what makes sports so great! These moments are when the truly great players are able to rise up and keep their team in the series, and give the team a real chance to pull off the upset.
Game 4 should be a good one!