You can never count out the Miami HEAT. Jimmy Butler and the HEAT got out to a fast start, dropped behind by as much as 15, only to regain the lead and hold on for a 111-108 finish in Game 2 of their NBA Finals series with the Denver Nuggets.

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With the win, the HEAT stole home court and became the No. 8 seed with the most wins in a single playoff run in NBA History. Butler finished with 21 points and nine assists, echoing sentiments that he has had all playoffs long, which are keys to the team’s success.

“We’re not worried about what anybody thinks,” Butler said. “We’re so focused in on what we do well and who we are as a group that at the end of the day, that’s what we fall back on. Make or miss shots, we’re going to be who we are because we’re not worried about anybody else. That’s how it’s been all year long, and that’s not going to change. So that’s what I think it is. I think it’s the ‘I don’t give a damn’ factor.”


The HEAT caught an early spark from Max Struss, who bounced back after a 0-for-10 performance to hit four threes in the first quarter. Center Bam Adebayo contributed elite defense and strong cuts to the basket, Kevin Love helped counter the size of Aaron Gordon, but the sniper of the night was Gabe Vincent, who scored 23 points, including huge threes. Also was Duncan Robinson, who exploded for ten crucial points in the fourth quarter.

For Denver, Nikola Jokic dropped 41 points and 10 rebounds; however, only four assists were limited in distribution to his supporting cast. Jamal Murray had 18 points, but the rest of the starting lineup, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr., and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, didn’t combine for 25.

In post-game, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone blasted the team’s effort, dubbing it unworthy of the NBA Finals.

“This is the NBA Finals,” Malone said. “We are talking about effort. That’s a huge concern of mine. You guys probably thought I was just making up some storyline after Game 1 when I said we didn’t play well. We didn’t play well.

“Tonight, the starting lineup to start the game, it was 10-2 Miami. Start of the third quarter, they scored 11 points in two minutes. We had guys out there that were just, whether feeling sorry for themselves for not making shots or thinking they can just turn it on or off. This is not the preseason, this is not the regular season. This is the NBA Finals. That, to me, is really, really perplexing, disappointing.”

The series will now shift to Miami for Wednesday’s Game 3.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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