Denver clinches NBA title after holding off Miami

The Nuggets are finally NBA champs! NBAE (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

TAGUIG—Denver's dream season is now complete!

The Nuggets secured their first-ever NBA title after edging the Miami Heat, 94-89, in Game 5 of the league finals on Tuesday (Philippine Time) at the Ball Arena in Denver.

Denver weathered a fourth-quarter storm from Jimmy Butler to finish the best-of-seven championship series by a gentleman's sweep.

With Butler taking over, Miami had a chance to extend the series to a Game 6, which could have been scheduled for Friday (Philippine Time) at their home after taking an 89-88 lead.

However, it was the unsung heroes, Bruce Brown and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who finished the job for the Nuggets.

Brown followed up on a Jamal Murray missed fadeaway to put Denver back on top, 90-89, before Caldwell-Pope picked Butler's pass after he was caught on a double team and made two free throws for the 92-89 count with 24.7 seconds remaining.

Butler tried to save Miami's season for at least five more minutes, but he missed the equalizing triple and Brown sealed Denver's championship with two more charities.

Nikola Jokic, who was eventually named Finals MVP, led the Nuggets with 28 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, and one block, while Michael Porter added 16 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists.

Butler finished with 21 points, 13 in the fourth quarter, three rebounds, five assists, and three steals, while Bam Adebayo added 20 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, and one steal for the Heat.

Denver became the second team to win an NBA title after jumping from the old ABA, and like San Antonio in 1999, it came at the expense of a team that entered the finals as an eighth seed.

PLDT Home hosts viewing party

Meralco star Chris Newsome was the happiest person in attendance as the Nugget fan witnessed his team's championship celebration during a viewing party hosted by PLDT Home at TGI Friday's in Bonifacio High Street here.

Newsome, as well as fellow Gilas Pilipinas players Brandon Rosser, Aaron Black, and Kevin Alas, joined media people who were invited to the viewing party.

The people in attendance eventually witnessed the culmination of one of the NBA's most exciting and historic seasons ever.

PLDT Home Fiber subscribers can relive the 2022-23 NBA season with a special promo through NBA League Pass where they can rewatch the games and highlights.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno