The Denver Nuggets cruised to an 11-point win over a lacklustre Miami Heat in the first game of the NBA finals.
Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic was pivotal in the 104-93 victory, picking up a seamless triple-double in his finals debut.
Miami had no defensive answers for the 28-year-old Serbian, who orchestrated Denver’s offence before finishing with 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
Contributions all around as the @nuggets secure a win in Game 1!
MPJ: 14 PTS, 13 REB, 2 BLKAaron Gordon: 16 PTS, 7-10 FGBruce Brown: 10 PTS, 5 REB
Game 2: Sunday, 8pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/0xsqyGBMWz
— NBA (@NBA) June 2, 2023
Outside of the first few minutes, Denver never looked like losing – much to the appreciation of a raucous home crowd.
Bam Adebayo had a strong showing for the Heat as he picked up a team-high 26 points, but he had little help from an inconsistent offence.
The seven-game series is Denver’s first trip back to the finals in 47 years, while Miami are on the hunt for their fourth championship.