Turns out there's nothing to eulogize the Heat. Miami stole home in the NBA Playoff Finals on Monday morning, beating Florida 108-111 to tie the fight for the ring at 1-1 ahead of the upcoming pair of games in Miami.
Believe it or not, the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference is now three wins away from the championship, even though before the series began, most pundits were betting on Denver as the championship favorite. Three days after their first loss in the series, the Eastern Conference champions handed the Nuggets their first home loss in the current playoffs, despite 41 points and a tremendous game from Nikola Jokic.
Butler looking for the basket,
Denver's center, who also added 11 rebounds, and Jamal Murray, who recorded 18 points and 10 assists but missed a three in the final second of the 48 minutes, were very close to winning the second of the series, but this time the Heat made 17 threes on nearly 50 percent shooting from the field, making the difference in their favor.
The standouts for the Eastern Conference champions were Gabe Vincent, who finished as the leading scorer with 23 points, Jimmy Butler got to work again, this time with 21 points and 9 assists, while Bam Adebayo (21 points and 9 rebounds) provided another excellent game by stitching up two penalty shots in the closing seconds. Also in the winners: Max Strus added another 14 points of his own while Duncan Robinson scored a decisive 10.
Aaron Gordon penetrates the Heat's basket, Photo: Reuters
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Miami, which entered the quarter eight points behind, made the big difference with 25:36 left in the fourth quarter en route to Denver's first playoff loss. As mentioned, now the series moves to Florida and between Wednesday and Thursday at 03:30 a.m., Erik Spoelstra's team will try to take another small step toward the ring, this time in front of its home crowd.
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