On Thursday night, the NBA Finals got back underway with the Denver Nuggets playing their first game on the road in this series at the Kayesa Center against the Miami Heat.
Although anything can happen in this series, with the Heat being one of the most resilient teams in the NBA today, the Nuggets were still able to impose their will and come out on top in Miami in a convincing fashion.
As usual, two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic put on a show with yet another triple-double, as he crushed the Heat with 32 points, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, and two blocks.
Miami couldn’t find a way to contain the Nuggets superstar, which was to be expected, but rookie Christian Braun stole the show off the bench with 15 points.
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green talked about Braun’s performance and how impressed he is that the rookie was able to do this on the biggest stage on the road via The Volume.
“For him to do that on this stage, in the NBA Finals, as a rookie? I take my hat off to him.”
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) June 9, 2023
With Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continuing to struggle throughout the Finals, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone has had to look elsewhere to get some production, with Braun currently being the answer for Denver off the bench.
Braun went 7-for-8 in 19 minutes off the bench for the Nuggets in Game 3, which was better than Porter Jr. and Caldwell-Pope combined (2-for-11, 8 points).
In Game 4, it’ll be interesting to see if Malone leans on the rookie again if his two undependable starters can’t get the job done early in the game against the Heat.NEXT: Aaron Gordon Explains What Makes Nikola Jokic So Special