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Denver triumphs over Miami and offers its first championship title, Jokic MVP of the Finals

Denver triumphs over Miami and offers its first championship title, Jokic MVP of the Finals

The Denver Nuggets are the 2023 NBA champions. Ron Chenoy/REUTERS Winners of the Heat last night, at the Ball Arena, after a crazy end to the game, the Denver Nuggets…

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The Denver Nuggets are the 2023 NBA champions. Ron Chenoy/REUTERS

Winners of the Heat last night, at the Ball Arena, after a crazy end to the game, the Denver Nuggets succeed Golden State on the NBA list.

Denver on top of the basketball world. For their first Finals appearance, the Nuggets clinched the Larry O’Brien Trophy last night, beating Miami (94-89), in front of their audience. They won the series 4-1, converting their first title shot and succeeding Golden State on the record. MVP in 2021 and 2022, Nikola Jokic won the Bill Russell trophy for the best player in the final. Logic. Drafted in 41st position in 2014 during… a publicity break, the 28-year-old Serbian pivot has established himself as one of the best players in the world, if not the best of the moment. 28 points at 12/16 and 16 rebounds for the “Joker” in this slightly crazy Game 5, a long draft before the exceptional final, with Jimmy Butler’s shot and his 13 straight points (21 pts).

Unlikely start to the game. Denver multiplied the ball losses (0-5) and Miami, the missed shots, including (very) near the basket (12-5). Ten in a row (12-5)! Max Strus to end the bleeding (12-8), Jokic’s three-point response (15-8), but the Floridians were finally in, with precious Kyle Lowry handing out the caviars and everything that came by the racket following the exit of the “Joker”, with already two faults (18-22). Two faults also for Aaron Gordon and Jeff Green. Coach Malone’s response? Get DeAndre Jordan out of the closet, a first since the series against Minnesota in the first round! Still, Miami led 24-22 after 12 minutes, with 14 points from Adebayo and 8 from Strus, then 28-22 early in the second quarter. As the Nuggets collected faults – 2 for Murray, 3 for Gordon – faster than the three points, Erik Spoelstra’s team took off (29-39). Finally, no fault No. 3 for Jokic and Murray and only -7 at the break despite the 1/15 three-pointer and 10 ball losses (44-51 MT): Denver was doing well.

Intensity of madness, and crazy end of the game

It must be said that Miami was not the game of the year either, like Butler, not on his plate. And it was on an award-winning basket signed Murray that Denver equalized (60-60). The Nuggets were 1/17 away before that. In the absence of great basketball, “adrenaline was dripping onto the pitch», as Jacques Monclar had fun on beIN. Intensity on all levels in this life-and-death match. The Heat remained painfully in the lead (64-60, then 66-64) before this triple from Michael Porter Jr (69-66), lost since the start of the series. First advantage since 18-16 in the first quarter for the Nuggets, who nevertheless attacked the last 12 minutes behind the score (70-71), after the third plus from Lowry.

The Heat missed opportunities that Jokic and Murray did not waste (75-71). Timeout requested by Spoelstra, 1’01 after the restart. His players had the merit of never letting go, in this fourth quarter in the form of a fight, less lucidity and success for both teams. The Nuggets in control (83-76), but without giving the blow. Maximum voltage. And the match was rocking into sweet madness. Unrecognizable until then, Butler returned two triples in a row before overselling a fault attributed to Gordon beyond the arc of a circle and returning a new basket (86-87). 11 points in a row! Response from Jokic (88-87), trickster offensive rebound for Lowry and two shots from Butler, 13 straight points (88-89). Brown who arose on the offensive rebound (90-89), another failure of Strus at three points, Jokic in check too, loss of ball from Butler and “KCP” sent on the line. Already author of an increased 4 minutes from the final buzzer, the ex-Laker at 2/2 (92-89), with 24”7 to play. Butler equalizing ball…missed. Brown put his two throws (94-89), the Ball Arena in delirium. Failure of Lowry, curtain (94-89 final score).

Denver for the “back-to-back”?

Behind Jokic, Porter Jr finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. 14 units and 8 ists for Murray, 11 points for “KCP” and 10 for Brown. For Miami, beaten in the Finals for the second time in three years, 20 points-12 rebounds from Bam Adebayo, who was already at 18 points at the end of the first period. 12 points from Strus but also from Grandpa Lowry, with 9 “ists” as a bonus. As sure as Denver makes a beautiful champion, this Miami team deserves the honors for this ability to never give up. Focus on 2023-24, Victor Wembanyama’s first season on the other side of the Atlantic. The 19-year-old French prodigy is just waiting for the Draft, on June 22, in Brooklyn. The future undoubtedly belongs to him. But knowing that their five starters are under contract, the Nuggets have a future too. There is no doubt that Mike Malone’s players will be among the main contenders for their own succession in 2024. Chiche?

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