The Denver Nuggets dominated Game 1 at home of the 2023 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat and it looked like the Nuggets would take a 2-0 series lead as they were up big early in Game 2 but lost to the Heat and the Finals shift to south Florida on Wednesday with it tied 2-2 and Denver a short road favorite on the NBA odds.
Nuggets vs. Heat, Game 3 | 2023 NBA Expert Analysis
How to Bet Denver at Miami NBA Odds & TV Info
When: Wednesday, 8:30 PM ET
Where: Kaseya Center
Stream/gameday audio: ESPN+
Radio: ESPN Radio
Opening NBA Lines: Nuggets -2.5 (total 214)
Why Bet on Denver?
The Nuggets sure appeared to have Game 2 in the bag at home as they were up by as many as 15 points, still up eight going into the fourth. The Nuggets were 11-0 in these playoffs when leading by double digits at any point in a game, and 37-1 this season overall when leading by at least eight going into the fourth. They would lose 111-108.
Nikola Jokic is on one of the most historical playoff runs in NBA history and he continues to add to his stretch. He finished with a game-high 41 points in the loss, a series-high 11 rebounds and four assists in a series-high 42 minutes for his 47th career playoff double-double and 14th of this postseason.
Jokic now has four career playoff games with 40+ points, tying Alex English for second all-time in Nuggets history, only trailing Jamal Murray with five. Jokic is the third player in NBA postseason history to record 500 points, 200 rebounds and 150 assists in a single playoff run joining LeBron James (2015-18, & 2020) and Larry Bird (1987).
Jokic averaged 2.07 dribbles before a shot attempt on Sunday, the 3rd-highest average of his playoff career. Jokic has averaged 2.00 dribbles before a shot attempt four times in his playoff career. The Nuggets have lost three of those games. The Heat might take Jokic scoring 41 points the rest of this series considering the Nuggets are 0-3 this postseason when Jokic scores 40+ points. They are 13-1 when he scores fewer than 40. Those three losses in 40-point games are tied for the most by any player in a postseason in NBA history.
Jamal Murray finished with 18 points and a playoff-season-high-tying 10 assists for sixth career playoff double-double, third of this postseason and second straight. The Nuggets are 6-2 all-time when Murray has 9+ assists in the playoffs and 8-1 when he makes 3+ three-pointers this postseason.
If you are looking for one big reason why the Nuggets lost: Michael Porter Jr. He had just five points on 2-for-8 shooting in 26 minutes. His 3-point shot still hasn’t made a Finals debut; Porter is 3-for-17 from that distance in this series and that inability hurt Denver on Sunday.
Entering Game 3 with the NBA Finals tied at 1, the Nuggets know they have to bring more effort after getting outworked by the Heat in key moments of Game 2. They also have to be more connected and disciplined on defense, where they allowed Miami to shoot nearly 70% and score 36 points in the fourth quarter.
“What we can do better is just be a lot more disciplined in terms of the game plan, who I’m guarding. Most of that stems from communication. … We had way too many examples, for an NBA Finals game, where we had guys not on the same page because of a lack of communication,” Coach Mike Malone said.
Denver won its lone visit to Miami this regular season in a close game. I expect similar.
Bet Nuggets to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
Why Bet on Miami?
Through two fourth quarters in the NBA Finals, the Heat are shooting a combined 63.8% from the field and averaging 33 points. Additionally, Miami shot 68.8 percent from the field in the final frame in Game 2, marking as the highest-ever fourth quarter shooting percentage on the road in NBA Finals history. The Heat have been outscored by 24 pts over the first three quarters of this postseason, but are +90 in the 4th quarter. That’s the third-best fourth quarter points differential in a single playoffs in NBA history.
Gabe Vincent (23), Bam Adebayo (21) and Jimmy Butler (21) each scored at least 20 points in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, marking the third time the Heat have had at least three 20-point scores in a game this postseason. The three occurrences tie the second-most during a single postseason in franchise history.
Duncan Robinson scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter for Miami. Max Strus added 14 for the night after going 0-for-10 in Game 1. Kevin Love, who hadn’t played since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, started and grabbed 10 rebounds in 22 minutes.
The Heat have connected on 266 three-point field goals this postseason, the second-most for a single postseason in team history, and just two shy from tying their all-time record. Vincent has made 50 from downtown, the third-most during a single postseason in franchise history. The Heat have shot at least 50 percent from three-point range four times this postseason, tying the most during a single postseason in team history.
The team’s best three-point shooter is Tyler Herro, who hasn’t played since Game 1 of Round 1 vs. Milwaukee due to a fractured hand. He might play Wednesday. Herro led the Heat in 3-pointers attempted (8) and made (3) per game during the season, and having his explosive offensive ability — he averaged 20.1 points per game this year — could be a big lift in a series that might swing on the 3.
“I don’t want to be Nostradamus right now,” Coach Erik Spoelstra said after Tuesday’s practice of Herro. “We’re taking it one day at a time. And I know that sounds like a cliché. He did the practice with the group. He is going to do a full-contact workout after this. We’ll evaluate that. He has not been cleared yet, so that’s where we are. But we’re encouraged by the work that he’s been doing.”
Miami got its 13th victory this postseason in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, marking as the most wins by an 8-Seed during a single postseason in NBA history.
Bet Heat to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
- Nuggets are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Wednesday games.
- Nuggets are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss.
- Heat are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games.
- Heat are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
- Nuggets are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Miami.
- Over is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings.
Nuggets 107, Heat 106
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