Nuggets vs Heat Game 1 of the NBA Finals – Key notes

With Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray combining for 53 points, the Denver Nuggets rallied past the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals (93-104).

Denver took over from the opening tip and led by as many as 24, with Miami attempting to turn things around multiple times. But, the Nuggets relied on their defense, allowed just 63 points after three quarters and 93 overall and went on to win the game.

Game 2 is Sunday in Denver before the series shifts to Miami for Games 3 (Wednesday) and 4 (Friday). Heading into Sunday’s battle, here are some interesting notes about what happened in Game 1.

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• Teams that win Game 1 of the NBA Finals have gone on to win the series 69.7% of the time (53-23).

• Teams that win Game 1 of the NBA Finals at home have gone on to win the series 77.6% of the time (45-13).

• Denver improved to 9-0 at home in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, one victory shy of matching the record for consecutive home wins in a single postseason. The record of 10 is shared by Portland (1977), Boston (1986), the Los Angeles Lakers (1987), Detroit (1990), Chicago (1996), Utah (1997) and Boston (2018).

• Denver improved to 4-0 in Game 1s this postseason and handed Miami its first loss in a Game 1 (3-1).

• Denver’s Nikola Jokić finished with 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. He is the second player to record a triple-double in his first NBA Finals game, joining Jason Kidd. In Game 1 of the 2002 Finals, Kidd had 23 points, 10 boards and 10 assists for the New Jersey Nets against the Lakers.

• Jokić had his ninth triple-double of the 2023 playoffs, extending his NBA record for the most triple-doubles in a single postseason.

• Jokić’s 14 assists are the most by a player in his first NBA Finals game. The previous high was 13 by Boston’s Jayson Tatum in the 2022 Finals.

• Denver’s Jamal Murray had 26 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Murray has scored at least 25 points in each of his last six games (which also includes all four games in the Western Conference Finals and Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals).

• Jokić and Murray have joined Michael Jordan (1991) and Russell Westbrook (2012) as the only players to post at least 25 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in an NBA Finals debut.

• Jokić and Murray are the second pair of teammates to each have at least 25 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in an NBA Finals game, joining the Lakers’ Magic Johnson and James Worthy (Game 1 in 1987). Jokić/Murray and Johnson/Worthy are also the only pair of teammates to each have 25 points and 10 assists in an NBA Finals game.

• Miami’s Bam Adebayo recorded 26 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. He shot 13-of-25 from the field. The 25 field goal attempts are a career high in any game (regular season or playoffs).

• Miami attempted two free throws (2-of-2), the fewest in a playoff game in NBA history.

• Game 1 took 2 hours and 4 minutes, the quickest NBA Finals game since Game 1 in 1976 and the fifth quickest over the last 50 Finals.

• Game 1 marked the first NBA Finals game for Denver in its 47-season NBA history.

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