The Denver Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat 94-89 on Monday to bring a first NBA title to Mile High City, with Serbian big man Nikola Jokic scoring 28 points and being named the Most Valuable Player of the Finals, Sportivationng.com reports.
With a raucous capacity crowd packed into Ball Arena ready to celebrate, the Nuggets ended a 47-year championship wait by taking the best-of-seven series 4-1.
Once again the Nuggets were led by Jokic, who hit for a double-double of 28 points and 16 rebounds to cap a dominating postseason performance.
“The job is done, we can go home now,” said Jokic, whose trophy case also includes two NBA MVP Awards.
“It was an amazing effort by the team.
“That is why basketball is a fun sport, it is a live thing, you cannot say this going to happen, there are so many factors.
“I’m just happy we won the game.”
Michael Porter Jr. contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds to the Denver cause while Canadian Jamal Murray chipped in with 14 points.
Jimmy Butler led Miami with 21 points.
The eighth-seeded Heat had defied the odds throughout the postseason, taking out the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, but the challenge facing them on Monday was a near impossible one.
Of the 36 teams that have fallen behind 3-1 in an NBA Finals only one, the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, came back to claim the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
Making the task even more daunting, Ball Arena has been a virtual fortress for the Nuggets, who were 9-1 at home during the postseason coming into Game Five.
That one loss, however, coming to Miami in Game Two.
Nikola Jokic is the 1st player in NBA history to lead the playoffs in total points, rebounds, and assists.
It was all hands on deck for the Heat with guard Tyler Herro, who had been out of action for nearly two months with a broken right hand, made available for the game but never got on the floor. (Reuters)