By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Serb center finished with 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who finally made it to the Finals and set the tone early as the hosts and the team with the best record in the West.
Aaron Gordon added 16 points and Michael Porter Jr. scored 14 for Denver, which led by as many as 24.
Bam Adebayo had 26 points and 13 rebounds for Miami, which shot 41% for the game and 33% from 3-point range. Gabe Vincent scored 19, Haywood Highsmith had 18 and Jimmy Butler added 13 for the Heat.
Game 2 is in Denver on Sunday.
Miami opened the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run, cutting an 84-63 deficit to 10. The Heat actually got within nine with 2:34 left, but not any closer.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray (26 p., 6 r., 10 as.) became the first teammates in NBA history to record 25 or more points, plus at least five rebounds, and 10 assists in a Finals debut, joining Michael Jordan (36 p., 8 r., 12 as. in 1991) and Russell Westbrook (27 p., 8 reb , 11 as. in 2012) as the only four players to ever do it.
Jokic also became the second player in the past 25 years, after LeBron James in 2017, to have 10 assists by halftime of a Finals game.
He had 10 points and 10 assists by the break, and Denver was up 59-42 after the first two quarters.