The prospect of returning to Miami for a Game 6 seemed increasingly realistic after the Heat jumped out to a seven-point halftime lead during Monday’s Game 5. Then, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets turned in a second-half performance that served as the perfect capper for their nearly-flawless postseason performance.
Jokic led the way with 28 points and 16 rebounds as the Nuggets stormed back to score a 94–89 victory, clinching a 4–1 series win and the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship. The two-time MVP played 42 minutes, adding four assists on 12-for-16 shooting from the field.
Denver guard Jamal Murray contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Michael Porter Jr. had 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Miami’s Bam Adebayo was the standout performer in the first half but was kept mostly in check in the second, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Jimmy Butler struggled on the offensive end, scoring a team-high 21 points but shooting just 5-for-18 from the field. The Nuggets held the Heat to just 38 points in the second half after allowing 51 in the first.
Jokic, who was the NBA’s regular season MVP in the previous two seasons and finished second in the voting this year, was named Finals MVP after becoming the first player to lead all players in total points, total assists and total rebounds during the playoffs.