Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray throws heat pack on court, labeled ‘inexcusable’ and ‘dangerous’ by Minnesota head coach

Denver Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray has come under criticism after he was spotted throwing a heat pack onto the court during the reigning champions’ 106-80 playoff loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.

While on the bench toward the end of the second quarter, Murray could be seen throwing the heat pack while the Timberwolves were on offense. The object landed near the basket with several players in the vicinity of the heat pack.

Murray has been fined $100,000 for “throwing multiple objects in the direction of a game official” during the playoff, the NBA said in a statement Tuesday.

Murray’s behavior was described as “inexcusable” and “dangerous” by Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch following the conclusion of the game.

Finch explained to reporters postgame that he didn’t see the incident but had it described to him before speaking to the officials.

“We tried to impress upon [the officials] there probably aren’t many fans in the building that have a heat pack, so it probably had to come from the bench, which they found logical,” Finch explained.

The Timberwolves head coach added he was sure it was just a mistake from the refs but maintained actions like Murray’s must not be allowed to happen.

In the pool report following the game, crew chief Marc Davis said that had the officials seen the incident, a technical foul would have been issued to Murray.

“We weren’t aware it had come from the bench, if we would have been aware it came from the bench, we could have reviewed it under the hostile act trigger. The penalty would have been a technical foul,” Davis explained.

Similarly, Denver head coach Michael Malone also missed the incident.

“I am not even aware of that,” Malone told reporters. “I really can’t comment. But if that’s the case, we will have to see what happens, but I wasn’t aware of that. I knew a heating pack was on the floor, but it was not in my field of vision.”

Per various reporters, Murray did not speak to the media following the game.

CNN has reached out to the Nuggets for comment.

The Nuggets lost 106-80 to the Timberwolves on Monday. - Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
The Nuggets lost 106-80 to the Timberwolves on Monday. - Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Denver has now lost the opening two games of its second-round playoff series against the Timberwolves and faces an uphill battle to defend its title; only five teams in NBA history have come back to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two games at home, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

“Frustrating night and the frustration creeped over,” coach Malone said postgame. “I thought we lost control of our emotions a little bit tonight.”

While Denver as a whole has struggled during the two games, Murray has been particularly ineffective and his frustration was clear to see.

In Monday night’s game, the Canadian guard went 3-for-18 from the field, including 0-for-4 from deep – finishing the night with just eight points.

Game 3 takes place Friday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

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