The Miami Heat (44-38, 27-14 home) and the Denver Nuggets (53-29, 19-22 away) collide on Friday night in a pivotal Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
Denver has built a 2-1 advantage in the series and, with a win, will be one game away from clinching the franchise’s first NBA title. A win for the Heat, and the series is back to even.
The tip-off for Game 4 is at 8:30 p.m. EST inside the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. Denver is a 3.5-point favorite, and the over/under tally is at 210.5 points.
What to Know – Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets took care of business in their first road game of the finals, thumping Miami by 15 points for their largest margin of victory so far this series. A win, and Denver can wrap up the series on Monday at home.
Offensively, the Nuggets are scoring 114.8 points per game thanks to a 49.4% shooting clip from the floor and a 37.9% effort from the 3-point line.
Denver’s defense is surrendering 106.6 ppg to opposing teams while allowing 46.3% shooting from the field and 34.9% from deep.
The scoring duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray has been working effectively this postseason, with Jokic, the leading candidate for Finals MVP honors. Jokic is scoring 30.5 ppg while adding 13.4 rebounds and 10.1 assists per contest. Murray is supplying the Nuggets with 27.4 ppg.
Denver is 55-44-1 against the spread this season with a road record of 24-25 ATS. The Nuggets have been impressive ATS against the Heat, sporting an 8-1 record over their last nine games.
What to Know – Miami Heat
Miami trailed by five points at halftime of Game 3, but that deficit extended to 14 in the third period, and the Heat were unable to fight back. If Miami wants to have an opportunity, a win on Friday is critical to improve their chances.
Miami’s offense is averaging 109.9 ppg while connecting on 46.4% of their shot attempts from the field and 38.8% from beyond the arc. On defense, the Heat hold opponents to 107.4 ppg, 46.4% shooting from the floor, and 32.5% from three.
Jimmy Butler is averaging nearly 25% of Miami’s offensive output, scoring 27.3 ppg. Butler is shooting 47.4% from the field and poured in a series-high 28 points in Wednesday’s defeat. Big man Bam Adebayo is second on the team scoring 17.7 ppg.
The Heat are 45-57-3 ATS this year and 21-29-2 ATS on their home floor. Recently, Miami is 0-5 ATS when facing the Nuggets at home.
The Pick is In
Friday’s Game 4 isn’t a must-win for the Heat, but it would be beneficial if Miami was able to find a way to even the series. We had hopes for Miami in Game 3, but it is clear that Jokic and the Nuggets are just too much for Miami’s roster.
The Pick: Denver Nuggets -3.5