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NBA Finals: Nikola Jokic’s historic triple-double helps Nuggets take series lead


Nikola Jokic continues to show why he could have, and maybe should have, won his third consecutive MVP Award.

The Joker went for the first 30-20-10 effort in NBA Finals history in the Denver Nuggets‘ 109-94 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

With the victory, Denver took a two games to one lead in the NBA Finals, as the franchise vies for their first championship in its history.

No team had a lead beyond five points in the first half, but Denver opened up the third quarter on a 6-0 run to take the first double-digit lead of the night, and they made sure it didn’t relinquish.

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Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots the ball against Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the first half in game three of the 2023 NBA Finals at Kaseya Center.  (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

They were able to extend that lead up to 19 points in that quarter, and it got as high as 21 in the fourth. Miami went on a late run that cut their deficit to nine, but it was too little too late.

Jokic’s historic night ended with 32 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Jamal Murray also posted a triple-double – he led all scorers with 34 points while grabbing 10 rebounds (his 10th with five seconds left) and dishing out 10 assists.

Jokic and Murray are the first teammates in NBA history to have 30-point triple-doubles in the same game, including in the regular season.

Jamal Murray layup

Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets drives to the basket against Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat during the second quarter in Game Three of the 2023 NBA Finals at Kaseya Center on June 07, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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Only two Heat players were in double-digits. Jimmy Butler finished with 28 points, while Bam Adebayo added 22 points and 17 boards. The rest of the team combined to score just 44 points.

As a team, Denver shot 51.2% from the floor. Miami hit just 37.0% of their shots.

Game 4 is Friday night in Miami.

Nikola Jokic in finals

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks to pass during the first half against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the 2023 NBA Finals at Kaseya Center on June 07, 2023 in Miami, Florida.  (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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With a loss, Miami will then try to become the first team since the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers to win the Finals after trailing 3-1 in the series.



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