The Rundown: Nuggets take commanding 3-1 lead

Published June 10, 2023, 11:00 AMPolo Bustamante

The Nuggets are now a win away from the NBA championship.



Nuggets 108, Nuggets 95 (Nuggets lead, 3-1)

What went down

The Miami Heat were desperate coming into the game. They needed a big win in front of their home crowd to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination by the Denver Nuggets. 

That’s why they kept things grimy and stuck in mud for the first 20 minutes of Game 4. Midway through the second quarter, both teams managed to only score 30 points apiece. That was good for the Heat even though the game was tied. They managed to slow down the Nuggets’ torrid offense and make things difficult for Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, the two players that killed them in Game 3.

Unfortunately for Miami, the Nuggets have a lot more weapons beyond Jokic and Murray. Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr., two players who have been relatively quiet offensively this series came up big in the third quarter. The two played a pivotal role in a massive 15-6 run that gave the Nuggets a double-digit lead. 

The Heat tried to make a run in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to just six. But the Nuggets had the answer to that too. This time Bruce Brown teamed up with Gordon to help keep Miami at bay and then Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drilled the dagger to shut the door completely on the Heat.

Gordon led the Nuggets in scoring with 27 points (more on him later). Brown came off the bench to contribute 21 points and three triples. Jokic and Murray still had solid games as both finished with double-doubles.

The Nuggets now have a chance to close out the series in front of their fans in Denver.

Big-time ballers

Gordon leading the Nuggets in scoring isn’t surprising. He’s a crazy athletic player that cuts intelligently and can finish through contact in the paint. But what made him a big-time baller in Game 4 was his other plays. 

He had six assists in the game, most of which came in the short roll. That’s something Draymond Green does for the Golden State Warriors that made him so successful. To top it off, Gordon added three triples to his name in the game. Those shots were huge since it opened up space for Gordon to cut to the hoop with the defense having to stay home on him. 

Gordon was incredible and a huge reason the Nuggets are just one win away from their first NBA Championship.

What he said

Nikola Jokic always finds a way to deflect praise. If he deflected the ball in the game as well as he deflected praise during interviews he might just be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year.

Here’s his latest gem:

Ummmm. Hate to break it to you Nikola, but you winning your first ring is actually very interesting.

Did you see that?

Imagine how wild Denver will be when it wins its first NBA championship? These two will probably be leading the festivities.

Now, imagine how wild Serbia will be when Jokic finally gets a ring.