‘Inexcusable and dangerous’: Denver guard Jamal Murray facing fine after throwing heat pack onto the court during Timberwolves’ game

DENVER — Kyle Anderson was hit with a flying object in the middle of play in the second quarter Monday in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.

The object was a heat pack, which then fell to the floor, right in front of the feet of Karl-Anthony Towns, who maneuvered around it to finish a bucket.

“I saw it,” Towns said. “I just was worried about making the layup, ain’t gonna lie to you.”

Denver guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope quickly scooped up the pack and tossed it off the floor as everyone else entered a state of confusion.

What just happened?

Denver’s public address announcer reminded fans to refrain from throwing objects onto the court. But the video showed it was no fan, but Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray who threw the heat pack from the Denver bench. Neither head coach said they saw the incident play out live — most didn’t.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said. “But if that’s the case, we’ll have to see what happens (with discipline).”

It literally hit Anderson, and he said he didn’t notice it. Murray wasn’t penalized in the moment.

“The referees didn’t see it either, so they’re not able to issue a technical unless they see it,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “We tried to impress upon them there are probably not many fans in the building that have a heat pack. So it probably had to come from the bench, which they found logical.”

In a postgame pool report, crew chief Marc Davis said the officials weren’t initially aware of where the heat pack came from. If they had been, they could’ve reviewed it under the “hostile act” trigger.

What’s interesting is Davis said the review would’ve only resulted in a technical foul for Murray, not an ejection.

“For an ejection you would have to determine it was thrown directly at somebody versus thrown in frustration,” Davis said.

That response made it seem unlikely that Murray would face any suspension for future games in this series, unless the incident was viewed differently by the League office. Game 3 in Minnesota is Friday. Indeed, the NBA announced Tuesday evening that Murray will receive a $100,000 fine, the maximum amount allowed for conduct detrimental to the league under the current collective bargaining agreement. He will not be suspended.

“It’s inexcusable and dangerous,” Finch said of the act. “Certainly can’t allow that to happen.”

“Yeah,” Anthony Edwards said, “that’s crazy.”

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