We didn’t offer much resistance, says Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra after Game 3 loss against Denver Nuggets The Nuggets out-scored the Heat 60-34 in the paint and also won the rebound battle 58-33 and thus dominated the contest.
Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic scored triple-doubles and dominated the contest. Jokic finished with 32 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists whereas Murray had 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists as these two were at their absolute best for the Nuggets.
Spoelstra admitted the Nuggets pummeled them in the paint and it led to their downfall in the crucial game of the series.
“They just pummeled us in the paint,” Spoelstra said. “They didn’t really have to shoot threes. They had, whatever, 60 in the paint. There wasn’t a need to space the floor.
“We didn’t offer much resistance….I thought offensively, we actually did get a lot of opportunities in the paint.
“You do have to credit their size and everything like that, but we have proven that we can finish in the paint when we’re at our best,” he added.
The 52-year-old admitted they will need to pull up their socks in the offense as they could not capitalize on the opportunities.
“Definitely some things where we got flattened out, and they jammed us up in possessions, got us late into possessions. Then sometimes we’re forced with those plays, and that can kind of have a different flow and feel to it than if it’s just in our typical rhythm of our offense,” he said.
On the other Jimmy Butler, who top-scored for the Heat with 28 points, admitted they didn’t play well. Butler added they will need to come up with more energy and effort in the fourth game.
“We didn’t play our best tonight. I feel like we just got to come out with more energy and effort, and that’s correctible. That’s on us as a group. No X’s and O’s can fix that.
“So come out, dive on the floor, get loose balls, get defensive rebounds and maybe, just maybe, it would have been a different game,” he said.
The fourth game of the series will be played on Friday night.