Denver Nuggets defeat Miami Heat to win their first NBA championship.
The Denver Nuggets won their first NBA championship with a 94-89 victory over the Miami Heat, completing a 4-1 series victory.
With 28 points, Nikola Jokic led his team to victory, ending the Nuggets’ 47-year championship drought.
Serb Jokic, 28, was chosen Finals MVP, adding to the two overall MVPs he earned in 2021 and 2022.
“We’re not in it for ourselves, we’re in it for the guy next to us, and that’s why this [means] even more,” Jokic said after his win at Ball Arena.
As the Nuggets rolled to a decisive victory in game five, Jokic added 16 rebounds and Michael Porter Jr added 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Nuggets never lost more than twice in any of their playoff series, capping off their record run with 10 wins in their final 11 postseason games.
Denver trailed 71-70 at the start of the fourth quarter and 89-88 with less than two minutes remaining, but the hosts would not be denied when a Bruce Brown layup put them ahead.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler had 21 points and Bam Adebayo had 20, but they were unable to keep their incredible comeback dreams alive.
Only one of the 36 previous teams to go 3-1 behind in an NBA Finals – the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 – has come back to win the championship.
“It was an amazing effort by the team,” Jokic added.
“That is why basketball is such a fun sport; it is a live thing; you can’t predict what will happen because there are so many variables.”
“I’m just happy we won the game.”
“I’ve got news for everyone out there,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone informed the home crowd. We are not content with one.”
It is owner Stan Kroenke’s fourth major North American sports title in the last two years, following the Los Angeles Rams’ NFL Super Bowl victory, the Colorado Avalanche’s NHL Stanley Cup victory, and the Colorado Mammoth’s National Lacrosse League Cup victory.