MIAMI – The Miami Heat will be looking to tie up the NBA Finals Friday on a very special day.
June 9 happens to be the 43rd birthday of Heat captain Udonis Haslem.
Haslem, the NBA’s oldest active player and a three-time champion, is in the final days with his hometown team after announcing that he will retire at the end of the season.
He’s the third player to spend a two-decade career with one franchise, joining Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.
“All I’ve ever tried to do is take care of my people, take care of my city,” Haslem told Local 10 News in April. “I think that’s why I can sit down with the mayor and commissioners, or I can sit down with people in the hood and be comfortable either way. It’s because of the sacrifices that I’ve made for this city.”
The team will also try to earn a win on the birthday of first-round pick Nikola Jovic, who turned 20 years old on Friday.
Jovic made his first NBA Finals appearance in Games 1 and 3 but has yet to score any points.
The Heat will hope to tie up the series after losing Game 3 to the Denver Nuggets at the Kaseya Center by a score of 109-94.
Heat star Jimmy Butler is taking responsibility to help his team bounce back in the NBA Finals.
In Game 3, Butler had 28 points, but was just 11/24 from the field.
Butler told reporters on Thursday, “I will be better because whenever I’m better, we’re better as a whole.”
Heat Foward Caleb Martin said the team’s mindset for full effort has to get better in Game 4.
“We just wanna go out there and put our heart on the court.”
The Heat will have to once again try to limit Nuggets Center Nikola Jokic who recorded yet another triple-double with 32 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists.
Tip-off at the Kaseya Center is set for 8:30 p.m.