How Important is a Game 3 Win For Nuggets Title Chances?

How Important is a Game 3 Win For Nuggets Title Chances?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Denver did something it hasn’t done since the NBA’s postseason began Sunday night.

The Nuggets lost on their home floor for the first time in seven tries during the playoffs, falling to Miami in Game 2 at Ball Arena, 111-108, as a prohibitive Colorado sports betting favorite.

The theme of Game 2 for Denver was a fourth quarter of squandered opportunities and red-hot shooting by the Heat, with Miami outscoring the Nuggets 36-25 in the final period.

In the end, Denver lost a Game 2 it led by as many as 15 points, leaving it to search for answers in the run up to Game 3 in South Florida on Wednesday night.

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Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook Colorado have the Nuggets as a 2.5-point road favorite, with a moneyline of -140 (to +115 for the Heat). wanted to see how the other NBA Finals series to start 1-1 went for the team that wound up winning the third game.

Here’s how the last 11 such series went down, giving Nuggets fans a little more confidence when they log onto Colorado sports betting apps.

NBA Finals Game 3s in 1-1 Series Since 2000

  • 2022: Boston 116, Golden State 100 (Warriors won series, 4-2)
  • 2019: Toronto 123, Golden State 109 (Raptors won series, 4-2)
  • 2015: Cleveland 96, Golden State 91 (Warriors won series, 4-2)
  • 2014: San Antonio 111, Miami 92 (Spurs won series, 4-1)
  • 2013: San Antonio 113, Miami 77 (Heat won series, 4-3)
  • 2012: Miami 91, Oklahoma City 85 (Heat won series, 4-1)
  • 2011: Miami 88, Dallas 86 (Mavericks won series, 4-2)
  • 2010: L.A. Lakers 91, Boston 84 (Lakers won series, 4-3)
  • 2004: Detroit 88, L.A. Lakers 68 (Pistons won series, 4-1)
  • 2003: San Antonio 84, New Jersey 79 (Spurs won series, 4-2)
  • 2001: L.A. Lakers 96, Philadelphia 91 (Lakers won series, 4-1)
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Game 3 Is Magic Number

Of the last 11 NBA Finals to start 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to win the championship series seven times, showing how important it is for Denver to strike back on the road.

The last four league finals to start 1-1 had the eventual Game 3 winner take the championship twice, with Toronto doing so in 2019 and the Spurs doing the same in 2014.

Other Game 3 winners that weren’t so lucky were last year’s Boston Celtics squad that knocked off Golden State, 116-110, in the third game, and the 2015 Cleveland Cavaliers, who also lost to the Warriors in the 2015 Finals in six games.

Nuggets fans should be cautiously optimistic heading into Wednesday’s Game 3 — and there are plenty of Colorado sports betting promo codes available if they want to wager on that optimism — given the team’s 2-1 record this postseason in such games, and the fact Denver shot 52% from the field while outrebounding Miami, 38-31 in its Game 2 loss.

If Denver can turn the tide in Miami for Game 3, then the sky’s the limit for a franchise in search of its first NBA title in its 47th year in the league.



Christopher Boan has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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