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Aaron Gordon guides Nuggets to brink of NBA title

Jun 9, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) controls the ball while defended by Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during the second half in game four of the 2023 NBA Finals at Kaseya Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Gordon set a career playoff high with 27 points and the Denver Nuggets moved within one victory of their first title with a 108-95 victory over the host Miami Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night.

Nikola Jokic recorded 23 points and 12 rebounds and Bruce Brown scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Nuggets took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Jamal Murray registered 15 points and 12 assists and Michael Porter Jr. added 11 points for Denver.

Jimmy Butler had 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Bam Adebayo amassed 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat. Kyle Lowry scored 13 points, Kevin Love added 12 and Duncan Robinson had 11 for Miami.

Denver can win the title at home in Game 5 on Monday.

The Nuggets shot 49.4 percent from the field, including 14 of 28 from 3-point range. Gordon made 11 of 15 shots and added seven rebounds and six assists, while Brown was shot 8-for-11.

The Heat made 44.9 percent of their field-goal attempts and were 8 of 25 (32 percent) from behind the arc. Adebayo committed seven of Miami’s 15 turnovers.

Miami trailed 97-89 after Robinson drove for a basket with 2:57 left before the Nuggets put the game away with an 11-2 dash.

Brown converted a three-point play to give the Nuggets an 11-point lead with 2:36 left. Adebayo scored on a layup seven seconds later before Brown made his own layup to make it 102-91 with 2:04 to play.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drilled a 3-pointer with 1:49 left, and Brown buried a trey 28 seconds later to make it 108-91 and Denver closed it out.

Gordon scored seven points in the final 72 seconds of the third quarter. He capped the burst with a 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds remaining as the Nuggets took an 86-73 advantage into the final stanza.

Miami scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, capped by Butler’s three-point play to trim the deficit to five with 8:42 left. Murray connected on a trey 17 seconds later for Denver’s first points of the quarter.

The Nuggets led 96-87 after Brown’s fastbreak layup with 5:07 remaining. Jokic returned with 4:09 left after sitting out for 5:15 due to being whistled for his fifth foul. Denver led by 10 when he took a seat.

Jokic and Gordon each scored 16 first-half points as the Nuggets led 55-51 at the half. Butler scored 14 in the half for Miami.

Gordon put up 15 points in the second quarter.

–Field Level Media

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