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NBA Game Notes (June 7, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on June 7, 2023.
Jokic, Murray Make History
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray made history as the Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat 109-94 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals to take a 2-1 series lead. The teams will remain in Miami for Game 4 on Friday.
Jokic compiled 32 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists, becoming the first player in NBA Finals history to record a 30-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game. It’s the third time Jokic has recorded such a game in the postseason, one more than all other players in NBA history combined (Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one apiece).
Murray also recorded a 30-point triple-double, tallying 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Jokic and Murray are the first teammates in NBA history, regular season or postseason, to each record a 30-point triple-double in the same game.
Jokic and Murray are the first duo in NBA Finals history to each record a triple-double in the same game, and just the second teammates to do so in any postseason game. They join the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, who achieved the feat in Game 4 of the 2019 Western Conference Finals.
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Jokic has totals of 100 points, 42 rebounds, and 28 assists through the first three games of the Finals. No other player in NBA history has recorded at least 100 points, 40 rebounds, and 20 assists over a three-game span in the Finals. Only three other players have reached those marks over any three-game playoff span: Oscar Robertson (1963), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1970), and Kevin Durant (2021).
Jokic is the fifth player in NBA history to score at least 100 points through the first three games of his Finals career:
122 — Rick Barry
106 — Allen Iverson
104 — Willis Reed
103 — Giannis Antetokounmpo
100 — Nikola Jokic
Jokic became the first player in NBA history to record 10 triple-doubles in a single postseason. Combing the regular season and playoffs, Jokic has produced 39 triple-doubles this season, the fourth-highest such total in NBA history:
45 — Russell Westbrook (2016-17)
42 — Oscar Robertson (1961-62)
40 — Westbrook (2020-21)
39 — Nikola Jokic (2022-23)
36 — Westbrook (2018-19)
This was Jokic’s fifth 30-point triple-double of these playoffs. The only other player in NBA history to record five such triple-doubles in a single postseason is Oscar Robertson in 1963.
Murray has dished out exactly 10 assists in each of the first three games of the Finals. Murray became the first player in NBA history to record double-digit assists in each of the first three games of his Finals career.
Rookie Christian Braun had a big game off the bench for the Nuggets, scoring 15 points on 7-8 shooting from the floor. Braun played just 19 minutes, becoming the fourth rookie in NBA Finals history to score at least 15 points while playing 19 or fewer minutes:
Sam Jones (March 30, 1958)
Bob Ferry (March 27, 1960)
Lenny Wilkens (April 11, 1961)
Christian Braun (June 7, 2023)
The Nuggets’ Aaron Gordon had a good all-around game, producing 11 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. Jokic, Murray, and Gordon are the first trio to each record at least 10 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in the same Finals game since the Los Angeles Lakers’ Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and Darrall Imhoff did so on April 28, 1968.
The Nuggets outrebounded the Heat 58-33, the largest such margin in a Finals game since the Los Angeles Lakers won the battle of the boards 67-39 versus the New York Knicks on May 7, 1972.
The Heat’s Jimmy Butler scored a team-high 28 points in the loss, shooting 11-24 from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line. Butler has shot less than 46% from the field in each of the first three games of the Finals (42.9%, 36.8%, and 45.8%).
Heat center Bam Adebayo scored 22 points, grabbed a team-high 17 rebounds, and did not commit a turnover. Since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, Adebayo is just the fourth player to record a 20-point, 15-rebound game with zero turnovers in the Finals:
Elvin Hayes (May 28, 1978)
Tim Duncan (June 21, 2005)
Deandre Ayton (July 6, 2021)
Bam Adebayo (June 7, 2023)
Adebayo shot just 7-21 from the field, although he did hit eight of his 10 free throws. Adebayo has missed 32 field goals through the first three games of the Finals, the most in his career over any three-game span (regular season included).
The Heat’s Udonis Haslem entered the game with 29.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, becoming the oldest player in NBA history to appear in a Finals game (42 years and 363 days). The previous mark of 42 years and 58 days was held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.