Kevin Love watched Games 6 and 7 against the Boston Celtics from the Miami Heat sideline, dressed in house white and road black. He watched Game 1 of the NBA Finals against Denver without recording a single minute either. The Heat dusted their 34-year-old stretch off the bench and into the starting lineup for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, helping Miami take a 21-10 lead in the first quarter.
Love was not the answer to slow Nikola Jokić, who would finish with a stunning 41 points and 11 rebounds. Love was not Miami’s top scorer. But Miami’s extra size helped combat Denver’s whirlwind offense. Love helped spread the ground even further for the Heat’s own scoring offense, which combined to connect on 17 of 35 3-pointers in Miami’s 111-108 victory over the Nuggets, tying this championship series at 1-1.
Max Strus drilled his first three early triples after missing all 10 of his attempts from the field in Game 1. Gabe Vincent, the Heat’s standout point guard, connected on 4 of 6 from beyond the arc en route to the team-high 23 points. Duncan Robinson scored 8 points in the first minute of the fourth quarter to help Miami turn around first-half history as the benched units grabbed a lead and turned the game around. just one shot in the first 7 minutes of the last frame, storming a 12-4 run capped by the lay-up and -1 from Bam Adebayo, which matched the Heat’s biggest lead since the first quarter , a 104-93 advantage.