Miami Heat forward/center Bam Adebayo Credit: Bill Moore photo

Game 1 of the NBA Finals last Thursday saw the Denver Nuggets continuing their dominance at home driven by two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic, who scored 27 points with 10 rebounds and 14 assists to lead his team to a 104-93 win.

In addition to Jokic, guard Jamal Murray contributed 26 points and 10 assists and forward Micheal Porter Jr. posted 14 points and 13 rebounds. On the other side, the Heat shot just 13-39 (33.3%) from behind the 3-point line and only 39-96 (40.6%) overall in the loss.

They were much sharper in Game 2 on Sunday in Denver. Playing with precision execution on both ends of the court, the Heat took Game 2 by 111-108, shooting 48.7% (38-78) and a precise 48.6% (17-35) on 3-point attempts. They would get multiple double digit performances including a team-high 23 points from guard Gabe Vincent, 21 from All-NBA forward Jimmy Butler and 21 from All-Star forward/center Bam Adebayo.

RELATED: Can the Heat end their unlikely run taking down the Nuggets?

Even after the increase in offensive production from Game 1, Miami still had to fight to avoid falling 0-2 in the series. Jokic had a monstrous Game 2 finishing with 41 points and leading the Nuggets to a 15-point second-quarter lead. But the resilient Heat once again showed unrelenting fight and after trailing 83-75 at the end of the third, outscored them 36-25 in the 4th and held on as Murray missed a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“I just contested it,” said Butler of Murray’s 26-foot shot from the left side of the circle. “Pretty glad that he missed it.” Murray, who was averaging 27 points in 17 playoff games going into last night, was nine below that (18) number in Game 2, taking just 15 shots, connecting on seven.

Miami was at home for Game 3 last night (Wednesday) seeking to leverage home court. With Game 4 tomorrow night, a win would put massive pressure on the Nuggets to avoid going back home for Game 5 on Monday in a 1-3 hole. A split at home for Miami would have them in a solid 2-2 position guaranteeing at least a Game 6 in the best-of-seven series next Thursday in South Florida.

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