Miami Heat lost the opening game of the 2023 NBA Finals against Denver Nuggets on Thursday.
The side’s important contributors – Caleb Martin, Max Strus and Duncan Robinson – misfired which ultimately cost the side the game.
There plenty to look forward to still for the Heat. Miami has won three NBA championships so far. In 2006, 2012 and 2013. On all three occassions, the Heat had lost their opening game.
2006 - Miami Heat vs Dallas Mavericks
Miami Heat faced Dallas Mavericks for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Jason Terry scored 32 points as the Mavericks secured a comfortable win in the opening game.
The Mavericks even stormed to a 2-0 lead before Dwyane Wade showed some of his best basketball to ensure his team won the next four games of the series.
2012 - Miami Heat vs Oklahoma City Thunder
A young Kevin Durant stole the stage in the first game and helped Oklahoma City Thunder claim a win.
But that was all the joy that headed Oklahoma’s way as LeBron James, together with Wade, won four on the trot to win the series 4-1
2013 - Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs
It was coach Greg Popovich and his San Antonio Spurs that stood in the way of the Heat and back-to-back titles.
Tony Parker, with his 21 points, was the best player for the Spurs as the side won 92-88.
The Heat pulled back in the second game and the tug-of-war between the two teams stretched to a seventh game.
It was LeBron James who settled the series with 37 points in the decider and gave the Heat a 95-88 victory.
2014 - Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs
It was a repeat final between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals.
Just like the 2013 finals, the Spurs won the first game courtesy of Tim Duncan’s 21 points. LeBron James got his side level at 1-1 before Kawhi Leonard dropped Finals MVP-winning performances in the next three games to complete the Spurs’ revenge.
2020 - Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers
The 2020 NBA Finals was one of a kind, with the matches taking place in a bio-bubble amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This time too, the Heat ceded the first game as Anthony Davis scored 34 points. Miami lost the second game too. This time, however, there was no comeback.
The Heat did win games three and five but LeBron’s 28 points in Game 6 secured the title for the Lakers.
2023 - Miami Heat vs Denver Nuggets
Miami, yet again, finds itself trailing 1-0 to Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals. This time it is up against the might of two-time MVP Jokic.
Given the dominance shown in the first game, the Nuggets have become the overwhelming favourites to clinch their first title.
But going by the Heat’s record in the NBA Finals, the team surely knows how to fight back with its back against the wall. Can Jimmy Butler lead his side to a fourth title. Or will the Nuggets prove too spicy for the Heat?
- Deadline Day: Wilshere, David Luiz, Hart and more
- Kohli & Kumble: A rhapsodic union
- Preview: Manchester United v Manchester City
- EPL Roundup: Tottenham, Watford secure wins
- WATCH: Stan Wawrinka breaks down with an emotional speech after losing Croatia Open final to Alexei Popyrin