Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
After Thursday’s disappointing showing in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, it was easy to write off the Miami Heat in their series against the Denver Nuggets. But in Sunday’s Game 2, Miami put its culture on full display once again to earn a 111-108 comeback victory.
Heat star Jimmy Butler powered a dominant fourth-quarter performance, overcoming an eight-point deficit and outscoring the Nuggets by 11 points in the final frame to spoil the night for fans at Ball Arena. He overcame a subpar shooting night (7-of-19) to finish with 21 points and nine assists.
However, Butler had a ton of help on Sunday night as the Heat role players provided some much-needed production. Point guard Gabe Vincent scored a team-high 23 points. Bam Adebayo finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Max Strus scored all 14 of his points in the first half, and Duncan Robinson scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter.
The Heat were able to overcome a 41-point outing from Nuggets star Nikola Jokić, who added 11 rebounds but finished with just four assists. No other Denver player topped 20 points.
The night belonged to Miami, as NBA Twitter couldn’t help but to express its astonishment at Sunday’s comeback victory:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Heat in the 4Q: pic.twitter.com/AlZxwwK2Yo
Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
This Heat group is one of the most mentally tough teams I’ve seen in a long time. They just keep finding a way.
Pat Forde @ByPatForde
This is what the Heat does. Show a weakness, they’ll exploit it. Denver has regular defensive lapses and the Heat roasted them for it.
Complex Sports @ComplexSports
4th quarter Jimmy Butler 👀 pic.twitter.com/UxpkUz48QJ
Bryan Fonseca 🇵🇷 @BryanFonsecaNY
That whole turning Nikola Jokic into a scorer thing appeared to work…
And the Heat won despite Jimmy Butler’s lack of a superstar game.
(He did hit a few shots when it mattered and guarded Jamal Murray well all things considered…)
Chris Fedor @ChrisFedor
What a magnificent 4th Quarter from the Heat thus far. One missed shot all quarter? Incredible.
DraftKings Sportsbook @DKSportsbook
The father, the son and the Holy Spirit pic.twitter.com/s0KQC3IsnY
Naveen Ganglani @naveenganglani
7 of the Miami Heat’s 13 wins in the 2023 NBA Playoffs are games where they trailed by double digits at one point in the game.
… and they’ve now done it against every team they faced in the postseason.
Skip Bayless @RealSkipBayless
What an incredible TEAM performance – 7 Heat players with crucial contributions, including Kevin Love and Kyle Lowry. Yet only a late three by Caleb Martin. DON’T LET HIM GET BACK ON TRACK IN GAMES 3 & 4.
With the series now tied 1-1, the momentum appears to have shifted to Miami’s side. Many believed that the Heat were overmatched by the Nuggets after Thursday’s Game 1 loss with some even predicting they’d get swept out of the NBA FInals, but they proved otherwise on Sunday.
The teams will head to Miami for Wednesday’s Game 3, and the Heat will try to hold serve on their home floor.