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Heat rally in fourth to beat Nuggets

Jun 25, 2023

Jun 5, 2023

By Tim Reynolds

The Associated Press

DENVER — Gabe Vincent scored 23 points, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo each had 21 and the Miami Heat evened up the NBA Finals by overcoming a monster effort from Nikola Jokic to beat the Denver Nuggets 111-108 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

Max Strus scored 14 and Duncan Robinson had 10 for the Heat, who had a big early lead, then got down by as many as 15 before reclaiming the lead in the fourth. Miami outscored Denver 36-25 in the final period, erasing an eight-point deficit going into the final frame.

And even then, they had to dig deep to finish it off.

Jokic scored 41 points and was 16 of 28 from the floor, the last of those shots a 4-footer with 36 seconds left to get the Nuggets within three.

Denver elected not to foul on the ensuing Miami possession. Butler missed a 3, and with a chance to tie, Jamal Murray missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Murray had 18 points and 10 assists for Denver, while Aaron Gordon had 12 points and Bruce Brown scored 11.

Game 3 is Wednesday in Miami. Denver had been 11-0 with a double-digit lead in the playoffs.

Strus, who was 0 for 10 in Game 1, had four 3-pointers in the first quarter of Game 2. Butler made a jumper with 4:56 left in the opening quarter to put Miami up 21-10, tying the second-biggest lead any opponent had built in Denver so far in these playoffs.

The Nuggets outscored Miami 32-11 over the next 9 minutes, turning the double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead thanks to an absolute 3-point barrage.

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