The Heat won the Eastern Conference title after starting with a 3-0 lead and faltering three games to the Boston Celtics before finally claiming the victory in Game 7.
While the Nuggets wait for Miami to land at Denver International Airport for Thursday’s game, let’s take a look back at how the two teams have fared in the past.
When it comes to the 2022-2023 regular season, Denver swept both games against Miami. On Dec. 30, 2022, the Nuggets beat the Heat at home with a score of 124-119. During this game, Nikola Jokic scored his eighth triple-double of the season.
On Feb. 23, the Nuggets held off the Heat to win 112-108 in Miami. This win snapped Miami’s eight-game home winning streak.
So, while it looks like the Nuggets have the upper hand against the Heat this year, both sides will inevitably say that those games won’t matter much starting Thursday.
“The Heat are playing an unbelievable high level,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Jimmy Butler, what he’s been doing since Round 1 against Milwaukee, continued that Round 2 against New York and now what he’s doing against Boston is just historical in nature. And Erik Spoelstra … obviously Spo is one of the best coaches in the league, someone who I have a tremendous amount of respect for as a coach but also just as a friend.”
The Nuggets have won the last five games they have played against the Heat, and historically, the Nuggets have won 38 games while the Heat have won 34.
Time will tell you will climb to the top and claim the Larry O’Brien trophy. Game 1 of the NBA finals begins Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.