The NBA Finals continue Friday night as the Miami Heat host the Denver Nuggets in Game 4. The Nuggets, up 2-1 in the series, cruised to a Game 3 win behind two historic triple-doubles from Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. It was the first time in NBA Finals history that two teammates posted 30-point triple-doubles, which speaks to how dominant Denver was Wednesday night.
In a game where the Nuggets struggled to connect on 3s, it didn't matter when the Heat had an even harder time knocking down shots from long range, shooting a lowly 31.4%. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo combined for 50 points, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome what was eventually a 21-point lead by Denver. With the Nuggets stealing home-court advantage back from Miami, Denver is in a great position to go up 3-1 in this series and potentially close it out in Game 5.
Ahead of the action, here's all you need to know for Friday's Game 4:
Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat
- Date: Friday, June 9 | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Kaseya Center -- Miami
- TV channel: ABC | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
- Odds: Nuggets -3.5; O/U 211 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Nuggets: Jokic and Murray got all the attention from Game 3's win, and rightfully so, but a major tip of the cap needs to go to rookie Christian Braun, who poured in 15 points off the bench for the Nuggets. With Michael Porter Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown combining for just 13 points, Braun's production was certainly needed to aid Murray and Jokic's standout performances. His effort and intensity on defense haven't gone unnoticed in this series, and in Game 3 his offense is what helped Denver cruise to a pivotal win. He may not put up those efficient numbers again in this series, as he went 7 of 8 from the floor, but he's certainly an option that coach Michael Malone can rely upon if his regular role players struggle again.
Heat: Game 3 showed just how much Miami misses Tyler Herro. Butler and Adebayo did everything they could to try and put Miami in a position to win this game, but when your other three starters combine to shoot 5 of 22 from the floor, you're not going to win many games. The latest update on Herro's injury , which means the Heat are going to need Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, Max Strus and Duncan Robinson to step up if they have any chance at tying this series up. The one win Miami got in this series was primarily due to its tough defense on Jokic, but they can't rely on trying to shut down the two-time MVP on a consistent basis. At some point, the Heat need to score consistently to get back in this series.
The Nuggets proved to be the deeper team in Game 3's win, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Braun's performance as a pleasant surprise, and while I don't foresee another game like that from him again, it did prove that Denver has bodies when the usual suspects aren't performing at a high level. For that reason, I'm picking Denver to get a win in Game 4. Pick: Nuggets -3.5