Denver Nuggets overcome Miami Heat to claim first NBA title
The Denver Nuggets won their first NBA championship with a 94-89 victory over the Miami Heat in game five of the NBA finals.
In a back-and-forth affair, the Nuggets were able to hold off a late rally from Miami and claim the Larry O’Brien trophy in front of their home fans.
Nikola Jokic again led the way for Denver with 28 points, while Jimmy Butler finished with 21 after a late flurry brought the Heat agonisingly close to forcing a game six back in Miami.
Some early struggles from deep gave the Heat a seven-point lead at half-time, with the Nuggets missing their first 22 attempts from beyond-the-arc.
However, Denver were finally able to get a few threes to fall and clamped down defensively in the second half, holding Miami to just 38 points over the final two quarters.
Eight-straight points and a pair of clutch free throws from Butler put the Heat back in front by one with less than two minutes remaining, but the visitors were ultimately unable to claw their way back again after Denver’s Bruce Brown grabbed an offensive rebound and tip-in.
Jokic, who ended the season as the first player in history to lead the playoffs in points, rebounds and assists, had his history-making postseason rewarded by being named Finals MVP.