Mike Malone goes off on Denver Nuggets players after Game 2 loss to Miami Heat

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The Miami Heat have turned the 2023 NBA Finals from an apparent Denver Nuggets coronation into a real series that could go either way.

They took Game 2 on Sunday, 111-108, and it left Nuggets head coach Michael Malone feeling like his team simply didn’t play hard enough.

The Nuggets won Game 1, but it wasn’t exactly an impressive performance by them. They scored only 104 points and almost looked a bit complacent at times, as Miami played very poorly.

On Sunday, the Heat shot a sizzling 48.6 percent from beyond the arc and held Denver to just 51 points in the second half after it looked like it had firm control of the contest in the second quarter.

They also limited Nikola Jokic to just four assists and Jamal Murray to 18 points, and even better, they didn’t allow any other Denver players to score more than 12 points.

Miami muscled its way to 36 points in the final frame. The team was seemingly brimming with more and more confidence as the clock ticked down, while the Nuggets looked a touch bewildered.

Gabe Vincent led Miami in scoring with 23 points, while Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo pitched in 21 points apiece.

Now the Finals will shift to South Florida for the next two contests, giving the Heat an immense opportunity to take full control of the series. While the Nuggets were excellent at home during the regular season and early in the playoffs, they suffered their first home playoff defeat in Game 2, and they were under .500 on the road in the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Heat, who won just 44 games, were a surprising 27-14 at home in the regular season.

As they always seem to do when healthy, they’re once again making a more talented team on paper sweat and feel the heat in the postseason.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.