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The Nuggets are now two wins away from the first title in franchise history.

After losing home court in Game 2, the Nuggets stole it back with a win over the Heat in which a number of different players stepped up. Denver, which has now earned four straight road wins in the playoffs, a streak that dates back to Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray made history as the first teammates to each record a triple-double in a Finals game, with both doing so with 30-plus points to their name as well.

With history made, The Sporting News graded the performance of 10 of the most impactful players in Game 3, from Jokic, Murray and Michael Porter Jr. to Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Max Strus.

(Players graded on a scale of 1-10)

MORE: The best highlights from Denver’s Game 3 win over Miami

Nuggets-Heat Game 3 player grades 

Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic – 10

Is there anything Jokic can’t do? 

Jokic gets a perfect 10 for his play in Game 3 after delivering his 10th triple-double of the postseason with 32 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists to record the first 30-20-10 triple-double in Finals history. Seven of his assists came in the game’s first half.

In addition to his scoring, rebounding, and passing, Jokic was solid on the defensive end for Denver, which held Miami to 68 points through three quarters and POINTS for the game.

The two-time league MVP is two wins away from adding Finals MVP to his resume. 

Jamal Murray – 9

Murray and Jokic became the first teammates in NBA Finals history with a triple-double in the same game. Not bad!

Murray turned in 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists after making his mark early with 20 first-half points. Each time the crowd at the Kaseya Center began to get rowdy, Murray had an answer to calm things down.

Big-time players make big-time plays on the biggest stage.

Christian Braun – 8

Braun stole the show.

The rookie stepped in for Michael Porter Jr. and made winning play after winning play for Denver, looking like a seasoned veteran in the process. The Nuggets should be excited for a future that includes Braun.

MORE: Everything you need to know about Christian Braun

Aaron Gordon – 7

Gordon’s one of the greatest dunkers the game has ever seen, but his role with the Nuggets doesn’t exactly require much flash. Therefore, his impact may have gone unnoticed in Game 3.

Gordon was solid on defense and on the glass. Offensively, he scored in spots and even flashed his playmaking abilities.

Michael Porter Jr. – 1

This was a night to forget for Porter, who saw just 21 minutes of action. His time on the floor was uninspiring, as his effort was not indicative of it being the NBA Finals, resulting in a 1-for-7 showing.

Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler – 8

After looking out of sorts through Games 1 and 2, Butler looked much more like himself in this one. It didn’t result in a win, but Butler was much more aggressive, putting pressure on the rim throughout the game.

Butler finished with 28 points on 11-for-24 (45.8 percent) shooting, his most efficient 20-point game since Game 2 of the East Finals.

Bam Adebayo – 6

Adebayo came out firing with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. He fizzled in the second half.

Had Adebayo built upon his impact from the first half, this game might have had a different outcome for Miami, but Adebayo’s play was just one of a number of worries for the Heat in game 3.

Caleb Martin – 5

After battling an illness to start the series, Martin looked much healthier in Game 3. He had an impressive stretch of eight straight points in the first half, which did get the crowd going.

Max Strus – 3

It wasn’t Strus’ night. After bouncing back to hit four triples in the opening frame of Game 2, Strus went 1-for-7 from the field in Game 3, including 1-for-4 from deep.

Gabe Vincent – 2

Vincent dealt with foul trouble early in Game 3 and he was unable to get into a rhythm. Vincent’s night ended with seven points on 2-for-10 shooting.



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