Nikola Jokic drains game-winner to send Nuggets past Heat

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Nikola Jokic had yet another huge game on Tuesday night in Miami — and came up clutch when it mattered most at the very end.

With less than 10 seconds left, the Denver Nuggets were tied 99-99 with the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. So, Jokic took matters into his own hands.

Jokic ran a perfect pick-and-roll with point guard Jamal Murray and picked up the pass at the top of the key with room to cut to the hoop. Jokic threw up a heavily contested shot in the lane that hit nothing but net, giving the Nuggets a two-point cushion.

Denver center Nikola Jokic drilled a late floater on Tuesday night to lead the Nuggets past the Miami Heat. (AP/Wilfredo Lee)

Murray then drained two free throws to seal the deal, giving the Nuggets the 103-99 win.

Jokic led the Nuggets — who have jumped to the top of the Western Conference Standings — with 29 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 11 of 21 from the field. Murray added 18 points, and Trey Lyles added 15 off the bench. The win was the Nuggets’ sixth in their past seven games. Denver is off to its best start in franchise history.


“The floater is kind of my game,” Jokic said. “I love that shot just because I cannot dunk. I work on those kinds of shots, so it was a little bit more tight — Adebayo was right there, and I got a heavy knee in my charley horse. We won the game, that’s the most important thing.”

Jokic has had a tremendous start to his season, and was named last week’s Western Conference Player of the Week after averaging 28 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in three wins. He is currently in his fourth year in the NBA and has averaged 18.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game so far this season.

Dion Waiters led the Heat with 15 points off the bench in the loss. Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo each dropped 13.

Fan storms court in final seconds

After Murray shot his first free throw at the end of the game, a Heat fan wearing a Dwyane Wade jersey ran into the lane and stole the ball, causing some very confused looks from players on the court.


The fan was quickly grabbed by security near the courtside seats and escorted out, causing a minimal disruption to the game.

More from Yahoo Sports:
Forde: Puzzling play calls, bad turnovers: Inside Saban’s night of incompetence
Imagine Dragons gets roasted after halftime show
Thamel: Trevor Lawrence’s ascendance complete with title showcase
Mugger targets UFC’s Polyana Viana, immediately regrets it