Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray led the Denver Nuggets to a dominant victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but for Magic Johnson, there were three other players who deserve a ton of credit for the win.
Johnson heaped praise on both Jokic and Murray in their 104-93 trashing of the Heat on Thursday, highlighting that they did what they were supposed to do to take down Miami. The Joker had a triple-double of 27 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in the showdown, while his trusty Blue Arrow finished with 26 points, six rebounds and 10 dimes. Nonetheless, Johnson expressed his belief that the win wouldn't be possible without Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr. and Bruce Brown.
According to Johnson, Gordon and Porter were the “real heroes” of the game, and for good reason.
“The real heroes of the game were Aaron Gordon (16 points), Michael Porter Jr. (a 14 point and 13 rebound double-double), and Bruce Brown. Brown had 10 big points off the bench,” the NBA icon and Los Angeles Lakers great said.
True enough, it would have been difficult for the Nuggets to beat the Heat in the contest had it not been for the three. Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. were crucial in exploiting the mismatches on the Miami defense, while Bruce Brown was sensational in providing that much-needed spark off the bench.
The Heat certainly have more than just Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray to worry about. If they can't figure out how to stop the rest of the Nuggets, their defense will just end up being picked apart throughout the series.