Nuggets’ Jamal Murray takes ‘responsibility’ for outburst vs. Wolves

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, acknowledging that he and his team lost their composure during Monday night’s blowout Game 2 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, said he takes “full responsibility” for his actions.

Murray was fined $100,000 Tuesday for throwing a towel and heat pack onto the court “in the direction of a game official during a live game” in the second quarter of the 106-80 loss. He also avoided a suspension and penalty for waving money at an official earlier in the second quarter.

Murray had little to say Wednesday about his actions that endangered players on both teams and Marc Davis’ officiating staff or about the fine levied by the league.

“No, I mean, it is what it is and I take all the responsibility and so on,” Murray responded when asked if he expected the fine and if he felt that his punishment was appropriate.

“Yeah, let’s move on to the next one. I mean, two days ago, I don’t have much to say about it right now.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone, however, sent a stern message to his team on Wednesday.

“Guys, we are the reigning world champions,” Malone said. “Act like this and play like this.”

Minnesota returns home with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals. Game 3 is Friday night (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Malone said he showed his team nine clips from Game 2 “that kind of summed up that game and why we lost. And our players owned that. And my biggest challenge for them and I didn’t answer for anyone who asks me. These guys believe? I don’t know. They all say yes, but we’ll all find out collectively Friday night.

“We just have to be ready to play and not get frustrated with the way the game is going sometimes and we let that take us out of our game,” said Murray, who was sidelined by a left calf strain, a lost shot touch and a lack of whistles in his direction. “So we just have to stay calm and find a way to stay together during the game and figure it out. No matter what the scoreboard says, we have to be able to recover.”

The towel Murray threw landed on Davis’ heels on the baseline, but the Heat pack skidded across the floor just as Karl-Anthony Towns was about to make a layup.

“I’ve never seen that from Jamal. It was very unusual,” Malone said. He credited Murray with losing his composure because he “took charge and that’s not asked, he didn’t make shots at the level that we know he is able to do, that he lost 30 points to a team we’re trying to beat to reach the Western Conference finals.” .

“So when you throw all of that into the boiling pot, it’s a lot to deal with. And he hasn’t handled it the way he knows he has to, and I’m sure he said it.”

Wolves coach Chris Finch called Murray’s actions “inexcusable and dangerous”, saying someone could easily have been injured.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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