The place to be! The Kaseya Center, the new name for the Miami Heat's den, was the place to be on Wednesday. Even though Lionel Messi, who announced his arrival at Inter Miami, was not present, the Florida venue welcomed an impressive audience of stars for Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
From footballers Neymar and Paul Pogba to singer Shakira, actor Chris Tucker, Magic Johnson, Dwyane Wade and Future, the best of the world of sports and entertainment were present to attend the duel at the summit between the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets. Even if many were present to support Miami, finally beaten (94-109) they were not disappointed with the show. They were privileged witnesses of a historic performance, that of Nikola Jokic.
👋 Paul Pogba and Neymar!#NBACelebRow pic.twitter.com/naPhqZUqAF
— NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2023
As since the beginning of this series, the Serbian genius has been the strong man of the Nuggets will have been Jokic. Author of 32 points (on 12-of-21 shooting), 21 rebounds and 10 assists, the two-time NBA MVP (2021, 2022) achieved a historic performance. He is the first player to achieve a triple-double (more than 10 points in statistical categories) at least 30/20/10 in a finals game.
"To be honest, it doesn't matter much to me," he said afterwards of the performance. "I'm just glad we won a game. It was important for us simply because they won at home and we just didn't want to be 2-1 down. »
This triple-double is also his tenth in these playoffs, a new record that he seems to be able to improve game after game, now three more than the legend Wilt Chamberlain.
In fact, the "Joker" embodied his team's clear superiority inside, using his size advantage to score heavily in the Heat's paint. The Nuggets scored 60 points (compared to 34), more than half of their total.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are the first pair of teammates with triple-doubles in Finals history!
Jokic: 32 PTS, 21 REB, 10 AST
Murray: 34 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST
DEN/MIA Game 4: Friday, 8:30pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/0hLcPvv0zN
— NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2023
The Serbian giant was not alone, as his fellow attacker Jamal Murray was the most prolific of all, with 34 points while being equally selfless (10 assists). As for the young Christian Braun, he did not fail to distinguish himself with 15 points (on 7/8) off the bench, illustrating the resources of Denver on offense.
On the Miami side, Jimmy Butler, Neymar's friend, tried to maintain the suspense with his 28 points. At his side, Bam Adebayo was again generous (22 points, 17 rebounds), resisting as he could against the steamroller Jokic. But their performance will not have been enough.
Thanks to this success regains the advantage in the series (2 wins to 1) before Game 4 to be held Friday, also in Florida. "We were just more focused. In the end, we made very few mistakes and our communication was at the top, that's why we won the game," said Jokic.