(Montreal) Nikola Jokic had 27 points and the Denver Nuggets opened the NBA Finals with a 104-93 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday.
The Serb also provided 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
Jokic was named the Tour’s Most Valuable Player in 2021 and 2022.
“The most important thing is to win the game,” Jokic said. I want to win any way. »
In the first three rounds, he averaged 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists.
Ontarian Jamal Murray had 26 points and 10 assists.
In the Western final, the athlete from Kitchener averaged 32.5 points per game.
Aaron Gordon provided a solid helping hand with 16 points, including 12 in the first quarter.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 26 points, seven more than Gabe Vincent.
“It’s a long streak,” Vincent said. They are the first team to win four games. Adjustments will be made and we will learn from this loss. »
All-star Jimmy Butler was limited to 13 points, his lowest contribution since March 29.
An offensive rebound from Jokic allowed the Nuggets to finish the first quarter in control 29-20.
The crowd favorites faced little threat afterward, taking their cushion to 24 points in the third quarter.
Game two will be played Sunday night in Denver.
Tyler Herro of the Heat could at this time be recovered from a broken right hand.
Herro was the NBA Reservist of the Year last year, after a season in which he made 40% of his three-pointers.
The Nuggets are in the Finals for the very first time, in their 47th season.
The Heat won the NBA championship in 2006, 2012 and 2013.
Miami is trying to become the first eighth-ranked team to take it all since the 16-club playoffs began 39 years ago.
Butler has made six all-star teams, one more selection than Jokic.
Head coaches Erik Spoelstra and Michael Malone have been there for a long time. Spoelstra leads the Heat for a 15th season, while Malone is at the helm of the Nuggets for an eighth campaign.
As a player, assistant, head coach or member of management, this is a 19th final for Pat Riley, the president of the Heat.
The first occasion dates back to 1972, as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers.