Miami gets a gritty win to even the series
After losing Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Miami wanted to make a statement to the doubters that they can win a game in Denver and did just that, 111-108.
The Heat was a different type of team in Game 2. Max Strus and Gabe Vincent decided to join the splash party and combined for 37 points. Vincent and Strus set the tone from the start of the game by being aggressive and knocking down shots from behind the arc, something they did not do well in Game 1.
They shot 48% from behind the arc, which was one of the key factors in the victory. Another factor was Jimmy Butler defending Jamal Murray. Murry had a quiet night, until the last minute in the fourth quarter, hitting a three point shot to cut the Heat's lead to one. Murray had the chance to tie the game with only seconds left in regulation, but could not hit the shot. Murray finished with 18 points.
Butler made it tough for Murray to get going, but Nikola Jokic told Miami you can't guard me. He was right. The "Joker" was hitting everything, from outside shots to bullying his way in the paint. The Heat had no answer for Jokic and he finished with 41 points and 11 rebounds.
After the game, many players from Miami said almost the same thing when asked about their mentality with being the underdogs in the playoffs. "Biggest thing for us, we heard the noise throughout the whole playoffs," Adebayo said. "Biggest thing for us, we had the will and we had the belief, and we keep finding ways to win."