Nikola Jokic starred with 28 points and 16 rebounds as Denver Nuggets defeated Miami Heat 94-89 on Monday to clinch their maiden NBA title in 47 seasons.
In front of a sellout crowd that had packed the Ball Arena, Nuggets won the best-of-seven NBA Finals 4-1 to bring the Mile High City the NBA crown. For Miami, it was their third finals loss in 10 seasons.
“I’ve got news for everybody out there. We’re not satisfied with one,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said afterwards. “We want more.”
The championship filled the final gap in the impressive resume of Serbian star Jokic, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and five-time All-Star center in his eighth NBA campaign.
Two days after countryman Novak Djokovic won the French Open for his record 23rd Grand Slam tennis crown, Jokic was named the NBA Finals MVP.
He delivered on a night when the team struggled with shooting futility but blanked Miami for more than five minutes of the fourth quarter.
“It was amazing effort by the team,” Jokic said. “It was an ugly game. We couldn’t make shots. But at the end we figured it out, how to defend and we scored 90 points. That’s why we won. I’m just happy we won the game.
“It’s good. The job is done and we can go home now.”
Denver was the playoff top seed in the Western Conference while the Heat had to win a play-in game just to reach the playoffs but then upset NBA wins leader Milwaukee, New York and Boston to advance to the finals.
Michael Porter Jr. added 16 points and 13 rebounds and Jamal Murray added 14 points, eight rebounds and eight asists for the Nuggets.
“We’re winning for the guys next to us,” Jokic said. “That’s why this means so much. Everything this year is amazing. We believe in each other.”
Jimmy Butler led Miami with 21 points while Bam Adebayo added 20 and 12 rebounds.
With their seasons on the line, players brought intensity and physical defending over the final minutes to create an electric atmosphere inside Ball Arena.
Jamal Murray’s jumper gave Denver an 81-76 lead with 6:43 remaining while the Heat began the fourth quarter hitting only 2-for-14 from the floor and going scoreless for more than five minutes.
Butler, who had struggled all night, sank back-to-back 3-pointers and made three free throws after a controversial foul on Denver’s Aaron Gordon was upheld on video review.
Butler and Jokic traded hoops and Butler followed with two free throws to give Miami an 89-88 lead.
Bruce Brown answered with a rebound basket to put Denver ahead 90-88 and Max Strus missed a 3-pointer for Miami to give Denver the ball wih 1:09 remaining.
Jokic and Gordon missed shots and Strus rebounded for Miami.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope stole a pass by Butler and sank two clutch free throws with 24 seconds remaining to give Denver a 92-89 edge.
Butler missed a 3-pointer, Brown grabbed a rebound for Denver and then made two free throws to seal the victory with 14 seconds remaining.
Dillian Whyte’s Fight Against Anthony Joshua Cancelled After Anti-Doping Test
The much-anticipated fight between Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua has been called off following an adverse anti-doping test result for Whyte.
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) reported the “adverse analytical findings,” leading to the cancellation of the bout. Whyte, however, has denied taking any banned substances and is determined to prove his innocence.
The news came as a shock to both fighters and their fans. Matchroom, the organizing body, issued a statement confirming the cancellation and expressing their commitment to conducting a thorough investigation. Sky Sports News reached out to Whyte’s team for comment, but further details are yet to be disclosed.
Originally scheduled to take place at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, August 12, the bout was expected to draw a massive audience.
Joseph Parker’s promoter, David Higgins, has expressed readiness to step in as a replacement for a rematch with Joshua, presenting an alternative option for the fans.
This setback adds uncertainty to the world of professional boxing and has raised concerns about the prevalence of doping in sports.
It serves as a reminder of the importance of stringent anti-doping protocols to maintain the integrity and fairness of the sport.
In the meantime, the sports community awaits the results of the investigation into Whyte’s case. As his innocence is maintained, the focus will remain on ensuring a clean and competitive environment for all athletes involved in the sport of boxing.
Reacting to the cancellation of his fight with Joshua, Whyte wrote: “I am shocked and devastated to learn of a report by VADA of adverse findings relating to me. I only learned of it this morning and am still reacting to it.
“I have also just seen that the fight is being cancelled without having any chance to demonstrate my innocence before the decision was taken.
“I can confirm without a shadow of doubt that I have not taken the reported substance, in this camp or at any point in my life.
“I am completely innocent and ask to be given the time to go through the process of proving this without anybody jumping to conclusions or a trial by media.
“I insisted on 24/7 VADA testing for this fight, as I have done voluntarily and at my own expense for all of my fights for many, many years.
“This is not the first time that I have been reported as having an adverse finding for a substance which I have not taken, and as I did last time I will again prove that I am completely innocent.
“In the meantime, all I can do is express my extreme disappointment to boxing fans, who will miss out on what was sure to be a great achievement.”
Napoli Faces Dilemma as Al Hilal Launches N117.033 Billion Bid for Victor Osimhen
Napoli Demands Exceed €150 Million as Osimhen’s Contract Talks Collapse
Al Hilal Football Club of Saudi Arabia has made an offer of N117.033 billion or €140 million to Napoli Football Club for their prolific striker, Victor Osimhen.
The bid comes after Napoli and Osimhen failed to reach an agreement on a new contract, leaving the door open for the Nigerian striker’s potential exit from the Serie A league champions.
The recent success of Victor Osimhen and Napoli in clinching the 2022/2023 Italian Scudetto trophy has not gone unnoticed by other big clubs.
Following his stellar performance, Osimhen has emerged as a prime target for football giants such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, and Chelsea.
The saga took a twist when Aurelio de Laurentis, Napoli’s club president, sought to insert a release clause of €200 million in the new contract.
However, this demand was firmly rejected by Osimhen and his agent, leaving Napoli with no choice but to explore other options.
Sources close to the negotiation revealed that Napoli is now willing to consider offers from other clubs, provided they meet the club’s financial demands.
While Al Hilal’s bid is close to Napoli’s desired amount, the Italian club reportedly seeks a sum exceeding €150 million before parting ways with their lethal striker.
The wages proposed by Al Hilal to lure Osimhen away from Naples are mind-boggling, reaching up to one million pounds or N975 million per week. Such an offer would make Osimhen one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.
Osimhen’s remarkable contributions to Napoli’s Scudetto victory cannot be overstated. Throughout the 2022/2023 Serie A season, he netted an impressive 22 league goals and provided four crucial assists in just 27 games, playing an instrumental role in securing Napoli’s first Scudetto in the 21st century.
The transfer market is abuzz with speculation as to where Osimhen’s future lies. Fans are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the ongoing negotiations as Napoli faces a significant decision in determining the striker’s destiny.
If the deal with Al Hilal comes to fruition, Napoli will undoubtedly reap the financial benefits, considering they acquired Osimhen from Lille OSC for a club-record fee of €70 million back in the summer of 2020.
Kylian Mbappe’s World Record Transfer Saga Takes a Surprising Twist as Al-Hilal Enters the Race!
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has granted Al-Hilal permission to engage in negotiations with Kylian Mbappe, the coveted French forward, following a jaw-dropping world record bid of £259 million.
Mbappe’s future has been up in the air after refusing to extend his contract with PSG, leaving him with just one year remaining. Now, the possibility of joining Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia has emerged, putting him in the company of legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
The news of the massive bid broke on Monday, and it was widely expected that PSG would accept the offer to avoid losing Mbappe for free in the summer of 2024.
Should the deal be finalized, it would eclipse Neymar’s £198 million transfer from Barcelona to PSG, making it the most expensive football transfer in history.
Sources suggest that the lucrative one-year contract on the table could see Mbappe earning an astonishing £600 million.
However, there’s uncertainty about whether he will accept the offer, as his desire for a move to Real Madrid has been no secret.
Al-Hilal might have found a potential solution by possibly inserting a release clause in their contract, allowing Mbappe to fulfill his dream move to Madrid in 2024.
Despite the Al-Hilal opportunity, the race for Mbappe’s signature is far from over. Premier League giants Manchester United, Chelsea, and Tottenham have all expressed their interest in securing the services of the talented striker.
Manchester United, in particular, seeks to strengthen their attacking options after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, with Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund among their targets.
Chelsea, with a disappointing goal tally last season, sees Mbappe as an appealing option, backed by their ambitious owner Todd Boehly. Meanwhile, Tottenham might consider Mbappe as the ideal replacement should Harry Kane depart for Bayern Munich.
Even clubs from across Europe have joined the pursuit, with Barcelona and Inter Milan contacting PSG to express their interest in the French sensation.
A move to Barcelona would undoubtedly be a shocking development given Mbappe’s admiration for their arch-rivals, Real Madrid.
On the other hand, Inter Milan, who made it to the last season’s Champions League final, is eager to bolster their squad after some key departures.
PSG has received a mix of offers, including player-plus-cash deals, making this transfer saga one of the most intriguing and captivating in recent football history.
Fans all over the world eagerly await Mbappe’s decision, as he holds the future of top football clubs in his hands.
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