Denver Nuggets won their first NBA title in history on Monday night, thanks to Nikola Jokic’s outstanding performance. Despite the team’s poor shooting and a late push from Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat, the Nuggets managed to secure a narrow 94-89 win in Game 5. Jokic was the star of the show, scoring 28 points and grabbing 16 rebounds, earning him the NBA Finals MVP award. This accolade meant more to him than the two overall MVPs he won in 2021 and ’22.
On a night when the other players on the Nuggets team were struggling to score, Jimmy Butler stepped up in a big way, making 12 of 16 shots from the field. Despite Denver missing a large majority of their 3-point attempts and free throws early in the game, they managed to pull off a win, thanks in part to Butler’s contributions. With just under three minutes left in the game, Butler scored eight consecutive points to give the Miami Heat an 87-86 lead. He then made two free throws to put Miami back on top, but it was ultimately the Nuggets who secured the victory thanks to an offensive rebound and tip-in by Bruce Brown.
With only 15 seconds left and being down by three points, Butler attempted a 3-pointer but unfortunately missed it. Brown then scored two free throws, securing the victory and the championship title for Denver. Butler scored a total of 21 points throughout the game. Despite the chaotic and unattractive nature of the game, both the Nuggets and their supporters were thrilled with the outcome. After being in the league for 47 years, Denver finally gets to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Jokic expressed that their performance was unimpressive initially, with poor shooting, but they managed to turn things around and he was glad for the victory. Coach Spoelstra’s promise of a resilient and determined Miami Heat team was delivered, however, their shooting was also subpar with Adebayo being the top scorer with 20 points. Miami’s shooting percentages were 34% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc. Butler struggled until he eventually scored 8 points with just 2 out of 13 attempts. The Heat made it to the finals as the second No. 8 seed team, despite their loss in the play-in tournament, and they emphasized that they were not settling for consolation prizes.