Murray on why Denver is strong: “We have a lot of different weapons”
Five players scored in double figures for Denver.
The Denver Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat 104-93 in Game 1 of the 2022-2023 NBA Finals on Sunday (Feb. 2) at Oracle Arena. It was the Nuggets’ first win of the series.
The final score was 11 points. However, Denver took control of the game from the start to the end. Late in the third quarter, the lead was as high as 24 points. The scoring was evenly distributed and five players scored in double digits. What makes Denver so scary is that you never know who is going to explode.
In fact, the top scorer in the first quarter was Aaron Gordon (203 cm, F). Nikola Jokic (211 cm, C) drew opposing center Bam Adebayo (206 cm, F-C) outside, and Gordon was matched up against Miami’s smaller players, and he used his height to attack the paint perfectly. Gordon made 6 of 8 shots in the first quarter and scored 12 points on his own. Gordon’s performance gave Denver a nine-point lead.
Early in the second quarter, Michael Porter Jr. (F, 206 cm) was the star of the show. Porter Jr. hit a three-pointer and a dunk to get the team going. He also used his height to dominate on the boards.
Jamal Murray (193 cm, G) took over. Murray scored inside and out and had 10 points in the second quarter alone. Between the two, the Nuggets went into halftime with a 59-42 lead.
Denver’s leading scorer in the third quarter was Bruce Brown (193 cm, G-F). Brown played four minutes and 26 seconds. But he hit a 3-pointer as time expired and converted a cut-in for a seven-point run. That’s a lot of efficiency.
The player who drove the wedge in the game was Ace Yokichi. Up until the third quarter, Yokichi was playing more passing than scoring. He finished with 15 points and 12 assists. But when Miami pulled away in the fourth quarter, Jokic stepped up. He scored under the basket, made all four of his foul free throws, and played a two-man game with Murray. He scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
The performance got Murray talking. “I think that’s the beauty of our team, the evenness of our play,” Murray said in a postgame interview. We have so many weapons. They have to defend all of our weapons. But it’s not easy. (Laughs) On the contrary, we are relaxed and enjoying the game. That’s the beauty of our team,” he said of his players’ even performance.
Denver’s undisputed ace is Jokic, a two-time season MVP. But Jokic’s strength is not just in his scoring, but in keeping his teammates alive. His 10.5 assists per game average is a testament to that.메이저놀이터
Denver’s players are taking full advantage of Jokic’s spin-offs. Murray has been a dominant two-option throughout the playoffs. Porter Jr. has thrived on the perimeter and Brown has added energy off the bench. Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (196 cm, G) also contributed in multiple ways. This is what helped Denver reach the NBA Finals.