The Miami Heat (44-38, 27-14 home) return to South Beach and look to take the advantage in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets (53-29, 19-22 away). Denver opened the series with a win on their home floor before Miami bounced back on Sunday with a victory of their own.
The tipoff of Wednesday’s matchup is at 8:30 p.m. EST inside the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. Denver is a 2.5-point favorite and the over/under total is 214.5 points.
What to Know – Denver Nuggets
Denver was in control of Game 2 for three quarters before the Heat rallied and outscored the Nuggets, 36-25, in the final stanza to even the series. Now, the Nuggets are on the road where Denver is 4-3 during the postseason.
On offense, the Nuggets are scoring 115.2 points per game during the playoffs thanks to a 49.3% shooting effort from the floor and 38.2% from the 3-point line. Denver’s defense is holding opponents to 107.4 ppg, 46.9% shooting from the field, and 35.1% from beyond the arc.
Nikola Jokic continues to average a triple-double in the postseason, scoring 30.4 ppg, grabbing 12.9 rebounds per game, and averaging 10.1 assists per contest. Jokic poured in 41 points in Sunday’s defeat, hitting 16-of-28 field goals.
The Nuggets are 54-44-1 against the spread this year and 23-25 ATS in games played on the road. Denver is 7-1 ATS over its last eight contests against the Miami Heat.
What to Know – Miami Heat
The Heat were three quarters away from falling into an 0-2 deficit, but the fourth-quarter comeback turned the series into a best-of-five scenario. Miami has been tough at home during the playoffs, sporting a 6-2 record.
Miami is averaging 110.7 ppg while hitting 46.9% from the floor and 39.2% from three. Defensively, the Heat surrender 107.3 ppg to opposing teams, 46.2% shooting from the field, and 32.6% from deep.
The Heat have seven players on the roster that are averaging 10+ or more points per game during the postseason. Leading the way is Jimmy Butler (27.3 ppg), who is the only player on the team averaging over 20.0 ppg. Bam Adebayo is second on the Heat adding 17.5 ppg.
Miami comes into the contest with a 45-56-3 record ATS and a home mark of 21-28-2. The Heat own a 7-2 record ATS over their previous nine games played at home.
The Pick is In
The first game in Miami will be an important one as it will set the tone for how the series might play out. The Heat have been tough at home, and Denver has been most vulnerable playing away from home.
Most didn’t expect the Heat to be here, but it is time we accept that Miami is playing its best basketball at the right time. The Heat get it done at home and take the lead in the series.
The Pick: Miami Heat +2.5