By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
During the two days before Game 3, head coach Michael Malone could sense the Denver Nuggets‘ Game 2 loss weighing heavily on Jamal Murray.
On Wednesday, Murray and Nikola Jokic rebounded from their first NBA Finals loss by making history. In their best and most important game as teammates, Jokic and Murray became the first duo to record 30-point triple-doubles, helping Denver rout the Miami Heat 109-94 to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
Murray set the tone before finishing with 34 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. Jokic delivered a stat line never seen before in NBA Finals history with 32 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists. It was his eighth triple-double in his past 11 postseason games.
“By far, their greatest performance as a duo in their seven years together,” Malone said.
After hearing from Malone about the Nuggets‘ lack of effort and being shown over a dozen clips of their lack of discipline in defensive breakdowns after Game 2, Murray came out determined to make amends for the team’s first postseason loss in Denver.
“The last shot felt good,” Murray said of his missed 3 at the end of Game 2 that could have forced overtime. “It was more like throughout the game. I felt like I didn’t bring the intensity that the moment called for. Even though I didn’t play terribly, I felt like I could have done a lot more.”
Murray hit eight of his first 13 shots and had 20 points in the first half.
Jokic helped break Game 3 open in the third with 12 points and six rebounds as Denver used a 29-15 run to build an 82-63 lead just before the end of the quarter.
“I think it speaks for itself, bro,” Murray said of Jokic’s stat line. “How many times does he have to do that for you guys to believe in his game or our game or whatever?
“Like, he’s doing it, making it look so easy, good shooting, low turnovers, two blocked shots, got great hands, great communication in the pick-and-rolls, and I.Q. and all that. We’re running out of things to say.”