Heat remain confident, Nuggets remain focused heading into NBA Finals 4

Jimmy Butler showed up in blue slippers to what was officially considered a practice. Kyle Lowry tried to distract himself in an interview session.

Nikola Jokic went on to say that he is not interested in statistics. Jamal Murray talked about the way he’s having fun.

At this point, there isn’t much court work on rest days for the Miami Heat or Denver Nuggets.

Game 4 of the NBA Finals takes place Friday night in Miami, and it will be the only time in the series that there is only one day of rest between a pair of games. The Nuggets, supported by a historic effort from Jokic and Murray, retook the lead in the series, winning 109-94 on Wednesday.

If they win the fourth game, they would extend their lead to 3-1 and be one victory away from the crown.

“It’s a lot of fun, a lot. We’re still having fun,” Murray said Thursday. “We try to solve this puzzle together. We have all been dreaming of reaching this stage. We have veterans of the league who haven’t reached these heights after 15 or 16 years of playing. So you cannot underestimate this opportunity, knowing that it is not something every day. It takes a lot of work to be here

Murray and Jokic each added triple doubles with 30 points for the win in Game 3. Never had a duo achieved such figures in the history of the NBA.

And as far as anyone can tell, Jokic had the first game of at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in Finals history. As always, he greeted the news of his latest statistical achievement with a resounding yawn.

He prefers to focus on what he considers a chess game, between the Heat and the Nuggets.

“They make one move and we make another,” he said. “I think this is the moment when the players show what they have.”

There were 15 other cases of teammates getting triple doubles in the same game, but never with 30 points. The fact that this happens, not only in the playoffs, but in the Finals, adds historical value to the performance.

Of course, Nuggets coach Michael Malone wasted no time mulling over the numbers.

“When we look at the video, as a staff and as a team, we don’t see if there’s anything historic about tonight,” he said. “We seek to address all areas that require improvement.”

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