Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat host two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets for Game 4 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Friday night. The Nuggets have a 2-1 series lead after they picked up a Game 3 win on the road. Denver is making its first Finals appearance, while Miami is playing in its seventh franchise appearance and its first since the 2020 bubble season.
USA TODAY Sports will bring you the latest news, updates, analysis and more throughout Game 4. Follow along.
Jamal Murray playing through floor burn on hand
Murray suffered a floor burn on his left hand, his non-shooting hand, while diving for a loose ball in Game 3. He is sporting a black wrap over the burn to start Game 4.
Who sang the national anthem for Game 4?
Miami native Laurana Strachan sang the anthem tonight.
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Only one team has come back from 3-1 deficit in NBA Finals
History is on the side of the Denver Nuggets if they can win Game 4 tonight and take a 3-1 series lead. In NBA’s history, the team that has been up 3-1 in any series has a record of 267-13. The numbers get even slimmer at this stage in the playoffs.
Teams are 35-1 in the NBA Finals when holding that advantage. The Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 became the only team to come back and win an NBA Finals series when down 3-1.
Miami Heat fans fashionably late to Game 4
Heat fans have a reputation of being a late-arriving crowd to games during the regular season, and that habit appears to hold true during the NBA Finals, too. Before Game 4 on Friday night, the Heat’s arena had just as many empty seats waiting to be filled than filled ones roughly 20 minutes before tipoff.
Something to monitor as the Heat could use the boost from their home crowd, down 2-1 in the finals to the Nuggets.
Heat’s Jimmy Butler on Game 4 of NBA Finals: ‘I expect to win’
It might not be an outlandish guarantee by any means. Just some cool, collected confidence from Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler.
“Obviously, I expect to win,” Butler said Thursday before Friday’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets. “We’re going to come out with a lot more energy and we’re going to get one at home.”
The Heat know what’s at stake. — Safid Deen
NBA Finals starting lineup today
The Heat are sticking with the same lineup as Game 3:
- PG Gabe Vincent
- SG Max Strus
- SF Jimmy Butler
- PF Kevin Love
- C Bam Adebayo
The Nuggets are also keeping the same lineup as Game 3:
- PG Jamal Murray
- SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF Michael Porter Jr.
- PF Aaron Gordon
- C Nikola Jokic