Heat, down 3-1, try to stay alive
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler dribbles during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics Monday, May 29, 2023, in Boston. AP Photo/Charles Krupa.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler — AP Photo
It's do or die for the Miami Heat as they prepare for game five of the NBA Finals in Denver.

It’s a desperate time for the Miami Heat. After a remarkable Cinderella season, the Heat face a win-or-go-home game in the NBA Finals Monday night. To stay alive in the series, the Heat must win on the road against a confident Denver Nuggets team one win away from clinching the club’s first NBA championships.

If Miami can win in the Rockies, they can force a game six in Miami. Then, who knows?

It won’t be easy, Denver lost just seven home games in the regular season and the only postseason game they’ve lost at home was Game 2 of the Finals to the Heat. Miami will have to win two more games in Denver if they are to win the championship.

“It’s going to be a gnarly game in Denver that is built for the competitors that we have in our locker room,” Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra said. “We get an opportunity to play a super-competitive game in a great environment.”

Game five tips off at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time in Denver.

Also today, the two best teams in baseball continue their series as the Tampa Bay Rays (47-20) and the Texas Rangers (41-22) continue their series in St. Petersburg. The two teams have split the first two games of a three-game set. Is it a vital series in the big picture? No. But if the Rays are going to make a playoff run, they have to perform well against the top teams in baseball, and this afternoon’s 1:40 p.m. EDT game provides that opportunity for the Rays.

Cole Pepper

Cole Pepper has covered professional, college and high school sports in Florida since 1996. Originally from the Kansas City area, Pepper came to Jacksonville to launch a sports radio station, the first step in a career that has included work in radio, television, and online reporting. He was the studio host for the Jaguars radio network for 15 seasons and now consults for JAX USL, the group bringing professional men's and women's soccer to northeast Florida. You can reach Cole at [email protected] or on Twitter @ColePepper

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