Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray lead Nuggets to Game 1 victory over Heat in NBA Finals

DENVER — The biggest concern for the Miami Heat against the Denver Nuggets played out over four quarters in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Denver’s explosive offense, loaded with size, versatility, options, quickness and talented scorers, proved too much for the Heat. The Nuggets toppled Miami 104-93 Thursday for a 1-0 series lead, and the winner of Game 1 in the Finals has won the championship 69.7% of the time.

Game 2 is Sunday in Denver (8 p.m. ET, ABC).

It was a great start for the Nuggets, who received an efficient scoring effort from two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and his presence as a facilitator opened up opportunities for his teammates.

Jokic recorded his ninth playoff triple-double this season with 27 points on 12 shots, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. He now has 15 playoff triple-doubles, third most all-time behind Magic Johnson (30) and LeBron James (28).

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Denver’s Jamal Murray had 26 points, Aaron Gordon had 16 points (12 in the first quarter) and Michael Porter Jr. added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Nikola Jokic (15) and guard Jamal Murray (27) led the way as the Nuggets won Game 1 of the NBA Finals vs. the Miami Heat.

Denver had ample space driving to the rim and shooting from distance and made 51.3% of its shots.

Miami won Game 1 on the road in its three previous playoff series this season but wasn’t able to pull that off against Denver, which improved to 9-0 at home in the postseason.

"I reminded our group, if they didn't know that Miami went into Milwaukee and won Game 1. They went into the Garden in New York City and won Game 1. They won Game 1 up in Boston. So, we did not want them coming in here taking control of the series on our court," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

The Heat trailed 84-60 with 40.6 seconds left in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 96-87 with 2:34 left in the fourth. But Denver had enough distance to secure the victory.

"Our disposition, the multiple efforts, the resolve in the second half was much better," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But you get to this level, it has to be complete games of that kind of disposition. Even if you have that, you are not always going to win all the possessions that you want."

The Heat lacked the same shooting they had against Boston in the Eastern Conference finals. Bam Adebayo scored a team-high 26 points and had 13 rebounds but he didn’t have much help


Max Strus missed all 10 of his shots, including nine 3s, and Strus and Caleb Martin were a combined 1-for-17 from the field. The Heat shot 43.4% on 3s against the Celtics but just 13-for-39 (33.3%) against Denver.

Jimmy Butler added a bland 13-point, seven-rebound, seven-assist effort for Miami.

"Our game is not built just on the 3-point ball," Spoelstra said. "We have proven that time and time again. We can win games. We can win series, regardless of how the 3 is going.

"But we also have ignitable guys. You see a couple go through and that also can become an avalanche. One way or the other, we have to find a way to get the job done."

— Jeff Zillgitt

Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray make history with Game 1 performances

Jokic (27 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists) and Murray (26 points, six rebounds, 10 assists) made some history in Game 1 with their box scores.

Per ESPN Stats & Info, they became just the second pair of teammates to have at least 25 points and 10 assists in an NBA Finals game, joining Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and James Worthy, who did it for the Lakers in 1987. Jokic and Murray are also just the third and fourth players to post 25-5-10 lines in their NBA Finals debut, joining Michael Jordan and Russell Westbrook, according to the NBA.

Jokic became just the second player, behind Jordan, to finish with outright game-highs in points and assists in his Finals debut, per the Elias Sports Bureau. (His Airness actually lost that game in 1991, to the Lakers.) Jokic also became just the second player, behind Jason Kidd, to finish with a triple-double in his Finals debut, per the league.

Heat had NBA Finals record-low 2 free throw attempts in Game 1

Miami "made history," Bam Adebayo said, but not in a good way. The Heat only had two free throw attempts in their Game 1 loss to the Nuggets, setting a record for the fewest free throw attempts for a team in the NBA Finals

None of the Heat starting five made it to the free throw line. Haywood Highsmith made two free throws off the bench. The Denver Nuggets, in comparison, had 20 free throw attempts.

“When we got in the locker room and seen the stat sheet, I feel like we were all shocked that we only had two free throws," said Adebayo, who finished with a team-high 26 points. When reporters asked him about the free throw disparity again, Adebayo quipped: "If I do say something, will you take the fine?"

Jimmy Butler said the Heat settled on jump shots instead of “putting pressure on the rim, getting layups and getting to the free throw line.” Coach Erik Spoelstra agreed: “We are an aggressive, attacking team, and so if we are not getting those kind of opportunities at the rim or at the free throw line, we have to find different ways to be able to do it.”

Before Miami, the Los Angeles Lakers recorded a record-low five free throw attempts against the Philadelphia 76ers on May 26, 1983.

Heat go on 11-0 run to cut Denver's lead to 10, but Nuggets respond

Miami isn’t done yet. The Heat opened the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run to close the Nuggets' lead to 10. Kyle Lowry knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 84-74. Lowry has 11 points off the bench.

Jeff Green ended the run and scored the Nuggets’ first points of the fourth quarter with 9:02 remaining. Then the Nuggets quickly extended their lead back to 16 (90-74), thanks to two made free throws from Jokic and a layup.

Jokic is one rebound away from a triple double – 19 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds.

Q3: Nuggets 84, Heat 63

DENVER — The Miami Heat went on a 7-0 run to start the third quarter and closed the gap to 10. Four of those points were from Bam Adebayo.

A layup and-one from Denver’s Jamal Murray halted their momentum and the Heat couldn’t recover.

Even a dunk from Jimmy Butler midway through the quarter couldn’t give the Heat hope.

Aaron Gordon exemplified the Nuggets’ stalwart defense by swatting Max Strus’ attempt at a long jumper. The play got the crowd back into the game after a lull.

Three-point buckets from Nikola Jokic and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continued Denver’s dominance and a trey from Bruce Brown was a dagger that gave the Nuggets a 19-point lead and caused Miami coach Erik Spoelstra to call a timeout.

Denver continued to extend the gap ended the third quarter up 84-63.

Murray and Adebayo lead each of their teams with 24 points.

— Victoria Hernandez

Caleb Martin, Max Strus remain scoreless in Game 1

Caleb Martin was the unlikely hero of the Heat’s Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, but he’s pulled a disappearing act so far in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Martin has struggled to get on the board, shooting 0-for-6 and 0-for-1 from three nearly halfway through the third quarter. He’s not the only Heat starter struggling. Max Strus is 0-for-9, including 0-for-8 from three.

Bam Adebayo leads the Heat with 22 points and eight rebounds, but has three fouls. Meanwhile, four of five starters for the Nuggets are in double figures, lead by Jamal Murray's 24 points

Miami trails Denver 71-55 with 6:12 remaining in the third.

Halftime: Nuggets 59, Heat 42

DENVER — The Nuggets turned their nine-point lead after the first quarter into a 17-point margin in the second quarter.

The Nuggets had too much space to operate offensively in the first half, creating several easy opportunities. TheBam Adebayo scored 16 points for Miami, which shot just 37.5% from the field and 23.5 % on 3-pointers (4-for-17) in the opening two quarters — after torching Boston from 3 in the Eastern Conference finals.

— Jeff Zillgitt

Denver fired up as Nuggets play first NBA Finals game in franchise history

DENVER — The atmosphere at Ball Arena was electric Thursday night as the venue was glittering gold with a packed house.

Fans were given goldenrod T-shirts and glowing wristbands that changed colors between blue and yellow to help create excitement.

They cheered loudly from the time Rocky the mascot descended from the ceiling prior to tipoff. They kept up the high energy as Jamal Murray’s dunk in the first quarter gave the Nuggets an eight-point lead. Nuggets outscored the Heat 32-18 in points in the paint and shot 59.5% from the field and 45.5% on 3-pointers. And they did it with Nikola Jokic taking just three shots in the half. However, he had 10 points, 10 assists and three rebounds, threatening to record another playoff triple-double.

Jamal Murray scored 18 points, Aaron Gordon had 14 (12 in the first quarter) and Michael Porter Jr. had 10 points and seven rebounds for Denver.

The boos abounded as Denver’s Christian Braun was called for a shooting foul on Miami’s Haywood Highsmith shortly after the start of the second quarter.

When former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was shown on the Jumbotron, he was given an enthusiastic ovation. Current Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and actor Ken Jeong were among other celebrities in attendance.

— Victoria Hernandez

Michael Porter Jr. takes elbow to the face

Michael Porter Jr. took a shot to the face from Bam Adebayo. Both Porter and Adebayo were under the basket when Porter was struck in the face by Adebayo’s elbow. He fell to the floor and missed a possession on the other end before the Nuggets called a timeout with 7:18 remaining in the first half. A foul was not called.

Porter got looked at by trainers on the bench before he reentered the game following the timeout. He has 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks so far. The Nuggets lead 48-37.

Q1: Nuggets 29, Heat 20

The Denver Nuggets got off to a hot start at home and lead by nine after the first quarter. Aaron Gordon accounted for 12 of the Nuggets’ 29 points and Jamal Murray added eight points. Nikola Jokic got on the board with 3.1 seconds remaining in the first. He has two points and six assists.

 Bam Adebayo leads the Heat with eight points. Jimmy Butler has seven.

"(The Nuggets) did a good job with their cutting, their passing and setting screens," Gabe Vincent said after the first. "I think we got some good looks."

Aaron Gordon storms out of the gate, Nuggets take early lead

The Nuggets' game plan: take advantage of the Heat's size, starting with Aaron Gordon's size advantage over Miami's wings. Gordon exploded for 12 points and four rebounds in the first quarter to give Denver a seven-point lead over Miami. The Nuggets have 18 points in the paint. Nikola Jokic hasn’t taken a shot yet, but he has six assists.

Both teams are struggling from three. The Nuggets started 1-for-5 from beyond the arc and Miami is 2-for-6 from three.

Adam Silver: Ja Morant's punishment will be released after NBA Finals

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the results of the NBA’s investigation into Ja Morant for allegedly displaying a handgun on Instagram for the second time will be released after the Finals.

“We’ve uncovered a fair amount of additional information,” Silver said when asked by USA TODAY Sports how close the league was to wrapping up the investigation. “We probably could have brought it to a head now, but we’ve made the decision that it would be unfair to these players and these teams to announce that decision in the middle of this series.”

The Grizzlies suspended Morant two weeks ago after a recording of Morant on Instagram Live appeared to show him holding a handgun – almost two months after the league suspended him eight games for a similar incident in a Denver-area strip club.

Jeff Zillgitt's full story here.

Rest vs. Rust?

It's an age-old debate.

The Denver Nuggets, who swept the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22, are going into Game 1 with seven days more rest than the Miami Heat, who advanced following a Game 7 win over the Boston Celtics on May 29.

"It's gonna be one of two things, (the Heat) have tremendous rhythm... We've had 10 days off," Denver coach Mike Malone said ahead of Game 1. "You can't replicate game rhythm without playing a game. We've tried doing the best job we can do, but we're gonna find out."

Shaq asks Tyler Herro: 'Hey, you playing?!'

Shaquille O'Neal went straight to the source.

The "Inside the NBA" analyst asked Tyler Herro if he was playing in Game 1 while passing each other in the hallways of Denver's Ball Arena. Herro was ruled out by Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra earlier this week, but apparently O'Neal didn't get the memo.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Herro can return to the lineup as soon as Game 2 on Sunday.

Who is Caleb Martin, the Heat's unlikely hero?

If the average NBA fan didn't know who Miami Heat guard Caleb Martin was before Monday's Eastern Conference final Game 7 against the Boston Celtics, they certainly know now. Especially Celtics fans.

Martin started for the first time in the series, played 45 minutes and scored 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while also grabbing 10 rebounds as the Heat avoided a monumental collapse and beat the Celtics 103-84 to advance to the NBA Finals where they will take on the Denver Nuggets starting Thursday night.

— Scooby Axson

Ranking the 12 NBA teams without a title by who's closest to winning first championship 

Twelve NBA teams have never won a championship. A few who haven’t − such as the Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder − have been close, reaching the NBA Finals at least once. 

The Denver Nuggets, who have never won an NBA championship, are in the Finals for the first time with a great chance of capturing their first title. The Nuggets have been the best team in the postseason with a 12-3 record, and they have the best playoff performer in two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. 

Here’s our rankings of the teams closest to winning their first NBA championship.

— Jeff Zillgitt 

Denver Nuggets make their first Finals appearance

The Nuggets are one of six teams who have never won an NBA title. This is their first championship series appearance since losing to Julius Erving and the New York Nets in 1976, after which the wonderful and wacky ABA was disbanded.

— Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press

Nikola Jokic playoff stats

Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic averaged a triple-double against both the Suns and the Lakers, and enters these finals averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game. One of his signature moves of late has been pointing to his ring finger while looking at his family; he’s now four wins away from the piece of jewelry he wants most.

— Tim Reynolds, Associated Press

Did Nikola Jokic go to college? 

No. Before the 6-foot-11 two-time MVP was drafted in 2014, he played three seasons for Mega Basket in the Adriatic League in Serbia. 

Has Jimmy Butler won a championship? 

The six-time All-Star has not won an NBA championship, but he’s led his team to the Finals once previously, in the 2020 bubble season, where the Heat lost to the Lakers. 

Jimmy Butler playoff stats 2023

In 17 games this postseason, Butler averaged 28.5 points on 48.3% shooting, including 35.6% from 3. He’s also grabbing 7 rebounds, dishing out 5.7 assists and snagging 2.1 steals per game.

Over 64 regular-season games, Butler averaged 22.9 points on 53.9% shooting (35% from 3), 5.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

Nuggets DJ Austin 'Paws the Music' Pawelka carries father's legacy

Austin Pawelka turned heads when, at nine years old, he announced LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony at the 2004 NBA Rising Stars game during All-Star weekend. He wasn't new to announcing as he had been introducing Denver Nuggets players for a year at the then-Pepsi Center.

Now, he's the official DJ of the Nuggets and will orchestrate Ball Arena in his first NBA Finals. "It doesn’t really feel like it’s real," Pawelka, who goes by the DJ name "Paws the Music" told USA TODAY Sports.

He found a calling toward music at a young age as his father, Shawn "Tribal Touch" Martinez, has been a DJ for 33 years. Martinez is now the Senior Director of Live Presentation for the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.

— Victoria Hernandez 

FULL STORY: Nuggets DJ Austin Pawelka speaks on NBA Finals

Larry O'Brien Trophy skydives into Game 1

"It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s The Larry O’Brien Trophy skydiving."

Yes, you read that correctly. The Larry O'Brien Trophy took a page out of Tom Cruise's book and skydived its way into downtown Denver for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. ESPN host Malika Andrews greeted the trophy after its flight and safely transported it to Ball Arena, complete with a police escort.

"Welcome to Denver, Larry," Andrews said.

— Cydney Henderson 

Who is favored to win the NBA Finals? 

Fanduel Sportsbook favors the Nuggets to win their first NBA championship over the Heat.

— Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press  

Is Tyler Herro playing tonight? 

Tyler Herro has been ruled out for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. 

On Wednesday, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed that the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year will not be ready to suit up when the Heat head to Denver to take on the Nuggets in the first game of the championship series. 

"He will not play tomorrow," Spoelstra said during the NBA Finals Media Day. "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves right now. He's still just starting this (ramp-up) process. We do have a few days here just to continuous work. I can't even make any kind of proclamation until he takes these next important steps, and that's with contact and doing things more on the court live."

— Cydney Henderson 

Jamal Murray stats 

Over 15 games this postseason, the Nuggets guard averaged 27.7 points on 48% shooting (39.8% from 3), 5.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. In 65 regular-season games this season, the 26-year-old averaged 20 points on 45.4% shooting (39.8% from 3), 4 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. 

Jimmy Butler, Heat believe they can win NBA Finals. At this point, who can doubt them? 

One year ago, Jimmy Butler spoke after losing to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. 

Solemn and measured, he told reporters, “We had enough. Next year, we will have enough and we're going to be right back in the same situation, and we're going to get it done.” 

With most players, it’s bloviating. Not with Butler. With him, it’s prophetic. You can’t dismiss what he says. 

One year to the date, Miami was in the same situation − Game 7 against the Celtics in the conference finals − and Butler and the Heat got it done, defeating Boston 103-84 on Monday in almost an unimaginable way. 

"You have to have a guy that you can hold on to, particularly in those moments of truth,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Butler. "I've said this before, there's no way to quantify the confidence that he can instill in everybody."

— Jeff Zillgitt 

How Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray went from bench to leading Nuggets' NBA Finals charge

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were reserves for the Denver Nuggets early in the 2016-17 season. It was Murray’s rookie season and Jokic’s second season. 

Those with a discerning eye saw the start of what is now apparent to everyone. Jokic and Murray had the skills to become one of the best 1-2 combos in the NBA. 

"They're both dynamic," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said ahead of the NBA Finals, which start Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC). "They both can do it on their own, but they also both really complement each other. That's hard to find in this league, when your two best players just absolutely complement each other. They both have scored 50 in a playoff game, and they both can be facilitators. 

"I don't think either one of them care how many points they score. It's just about getting the most efficient shot for the offense." 

Read Jeff Zillgitt’s full feature on the duo here. 

How Heat were built: Stars like Jimmy Butler, finding hidden gems have Miami in NBA Finals 

The Miami Heat like their stars, no question about that. 

Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Jimmy Butler. 

But the Heat's front office led by Pat Riley, Andy Elisburg and Adam Simon also like their hidden gems and finding players who fit their system − players that other teams may have overlooked, players like Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent. They were all undrafted, and it’s not unusual to get those kind of players into their system and develop them. 

“Quite frankly, we've needed more guys like Gabe and Caleb to show how much they have improved with their player development,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. 

Let’s take a look at how the Heat were built.

— Jeff Zillgitt 

Have the Nuggets ever made the NBA Finals? 

The Nuggets are at the door, making their first Finals appearance in franchise history. Injuries slowed the Nuggets for a couple of seasons, but they’ve been headed in this direction since they reached the conference finals and lost to the Lakers in the 2020 Orlando bubble. 

Best finish: Lost in the conference finals five times, most recently to the Lakers in 2020.

— Jeff Zillgitt 

No. 8 seeds to make the NBA Finals 

The Miami Heat are the second No. 8 seed to make it to the NBA Finals. The other? The New York Knicks in the 1998-99 season. They lost to the San Antonio Spurs in five games. 

NBA Finals referees: Eric Lewis not included

Marc Davis, David Guthrie and Ed Malloy will officiate Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals. 

Here are all the officials who are assigned to work the Finals: Tony Brothers (12th Finals), Courtney Kirkland (third), Marc Davis (12th), Ed Malloy (eighth), Scott Foster (16th), Kevin Scott (first), John Goble (seventh), Josh Tiven (fourth), David Guthrie (sixth), James Williams (third), Bill Kennedy (fifth) and Zach Zarba (10th). 

Notably missing from the group is 19-year veteran referee Eric Lewis, who is currently under investigation for the potential use of a burner Twitter account to defend himself and other officials. Based on previous experience and playoff grades, Lewis would have otherwise made the cut, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets do have a history 

Jimmy Butler says there isn't any bad blood between the Heat and Nuggets. "I don’t think that’s a rivalry. It sounds good. But I don’t even want to get into it. (Jokic) is a hell of a player," Butler told Complex in February 2022. 

But the Nuggets and Heat were involved in an altercation on Nov. 8, 2021, that resulted in a suspension for Jokic and a fine for Butler. Jokic shoved Markieff Morris (who's now on the Dallas Mavericks) from behind following a hard foul from Morris. Heat players were upset at what they perceived to be a cheap shot from Jokic and Butler could be seen telling Jokic to "bring your (expletive) to the back." A viral photo showed Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo lined up outside the Nuggets locker room postgame. 

Jokic was ejected from the game and received a one-game suspension. Morris received a flagrant foul, $50,000 fine for his role and subsequently missed 58 games with whiplash. Butler received a technical foul and $30,000 fine "for attempting to escalate the altercation and failing to comply with an NBA Security interview as part of the review process pertaining to an on-court matter," the league said. But it appears to be water under the bridge.  

“I don't think it has too much to do with anything, this thing in the past," Butler said Wednesday. “It's high-level competition. But I will say I wasn't talking to Jokic. That wasn't my beef. Make sure you write that.”

Said Denver coach Michael Malone: “It hasn't come up in any of my thoughts, discussions, narratives. That's a question probably more suited for the Miami Heat. For us, all we're worried about is winning Game 1. That's our sole focus. None of the storylines that accompany this series are going to distract us from that focus.”

— Cydney Henderson and Jeff Zillgitt  

NBA Finals uniform schedule for Heat and Nuggets 

Here is which uniform each team will wear for each game, via the NBA’s LockerVision: 

Game 1 

  • Heat: All red Statement Edition with Miami on the front of the jersey. 
  • Nuggets: All Royal blue Statement Edition with Mile High City on the front of the jersey. 

Game 2 

  • Heat: All white Association Edition with Heat on the front of the jersey. 
  • Nuggets: All navy blue Icon Edition with Denver on the front of the jersey. 

Game 3 

  • Heat: All white Association Edition with Heat on the front of the jersey. 
  • Nuggets: All Royal blue Statement Edition with Mile High City on the front of the jersey. 

Game 4 

  • Heat: All white Association Edition with Heat on the front of the jersey. 
  • Nuggets: All navy blue Icon Edition with Denver on the front of the jersey. 

Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat regular season 

The Nuggets won both matchups against the Heat during the regular season, once at home in Denver's Ball Arena and on the road in Miami's Kaseya Center. 

On Dec. 30, Denver defeated Miami 124-119. Jokic recorded a triple-double (19 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists) while Butler scored 17 points, dished out eight assists and nabbed four steals. Their second meeting was on Feb. 13, when the Nuggets won 112-108. Jokic put up a double-double (27 points, 12 rebounds) while tallying eight assists. Butler recorded his own double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds) and neared a triple-double with nine assists. 

Miami hasn’t won a game in Denver since 2016 -- which is also the last season Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were Nuggets reserves. Denver is 11-3 against Miami in the past seven seasons, including a six-game winning streak over the past three seasons.

NBA Finals schedule 2023

Here is the full schedule:

  • Game 1: Heat at Nuggets | Thursday, June 1 | 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Game 2: Heat at Nuggets | Sunday, June 4 | 8 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Game 3: Nuggets at Heat | Wednesday, June 7 | 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Game 4: Nuggets at Heat | Friday, June 9 | 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Game 5: Heat at Nuggets | Monday, June 12 | 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC) *
  • Game 6: Nuggets at Heat | Thursday, June 15 | 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC) *
  • Game 7: Heat at Nuggets | Sunday, June 18 | 8 p.m. ET (ABC) *
  • *if necessary

Miami vs. Denver: Game 1 odds

Tipico Sportsbook has the spread favoring Denver by 8.5 points over Miami. They have the moneyline for Miami set at +310 and for Denver set at –380. They have the over/under for total points set at 218.5.

Wanna bet? Here are the best NBA betting apps in 2023 

Picks and parlays: How to find NBA expert picks and tips 

Eye on the future:Here are the best NBA player and team futures bets 

Past NBA champions by year 

Here are the NBA champions of the last 25 years: 

  • 2022: Golden State Warriors 
  • 2021: Milwaukee Bucks 
  • 2020: Los Angeles Lakers 
  • 2019: Toronto Raptors 
  • 2018: Golden State Warriors 
  • 2017: Golden State Warriors 
  • 2016: Cleveland Cavaliers 
  • 2015: Golden State Warriors 
  • 2014: San Antonio Spurs
  • 2013: Miami Heat 
  • 2012: Miami Heat 
  • 2011: Dallas Mavericks 
  • 2010: Los Angeles Lakers 
  • 2009: Los Angeles Lakers 
  • 2008: Boston Celtics 
  • 2007: San Antonio Spurs 
  • 2006: Miami Heat 
  • 2005: San Antonio Spurs 
  • 2004: Detroit Pistons 
  • 2003: San Antonio Spurs 
  • 2002: Los Angeles Lakers 
  • 2001: Los Angeles Lakers 
  • 2000: Los Angeles Lakers 
  • 1999: San Antonio Spurs 
  • 1998: Chicago Bulls

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