Murray takes 'full responsibility' for losing his cool

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

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

Murray on Wednesday didn’t have much to say about his actions that endangered players on both teams and Marc Davis’ officiating crew or the fine issued by the league.

“Nah, I mean it is what it is and I take everything in full responsibility, so on to the next,” Murray said when asked whether he had expected the fine and if he felt his punishment was appropriate.

“Yeah, on to the next. I mean, two days ago, not much for me to say about it right now.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone, however, had a stern message for his team Wednesday.

“Guys, we’re the reigning world champions,” Malone said. “Act like it and play like it.”

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

Malone said he showed his team nine clips of Game 2 “that kind of encapsulated that game and why we lost. And our players owned it. And my greatest challenge to them and I don’t have an answer for whoever’s going to ask me do these guys believe? I don’t know. They all say they do but we will all find out collectively come Friday night.”

“We’ve just got to be ready to play and not get frustrated with how the game goes sometimes and we allowed it to take us out of our game,” said Murray, who has been flummoxed by a strained left calf, a lost shooting touch and a paucity of whistles going his way. “So, we’ve just got to stay composed and find a way to stick together during the game and figure it out. No matter what the scoreboard says, we’ve got to be able to claw back.”

The towel Murray threw landed at the heels of Davis on the baseline but the heat pack skidded across the floor just as Karl-Anthony Towns was going for a layup.

“I’ve never seen that from Jamal. That was very uncharacteristic,” Malone said. He attributed Murray losing his cool to “taking a charge and it’s not called, not making shots at the level we know he’s capable of making, being down 30 points to a team that we’re trying to beat to get to the Western Conference finals.

“So when you put it all in the boiling pot, that’s a lot to handle. And he didn’t handle it the way he knows he needs to handle it, and I’m sure he told you guys that.”

Wolves coach Chris Finch called Murray’s actions “inexcusable and dangerous,” saying somebody easily could have gotten hurt.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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