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Will the NBA suspend Jamal Murray for throwing heat pack?


The Nuggets endured a crushing 106-80 defeat against the Timberwolves on Monday, and Denver guard Jamal Murray let his emotions get the best of him during the game.

Murray boiled over while sitting on the bench in the first half of Game 2 of the Western Conference playoff series. The Nuggets allowed Minnesota to corral an offensive rebound to set up an easy Karl-Anthony Towns layup while facing a massive deficit.

That was enough to prompt Murray to hurl a heating pack he was using from the sideline and onto the floor. It whistled past an official on the sideline before sliding across the floor and hitting a couple of players lightly on the foot.

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Here’s a look at Murray’s throw and where the heat pack landed:

Murray’s throw went unnoticed by most when it happened. Neither coach saw the throw live, and Nuggets coach Mike Malone was surprised to hear about the incident after the game.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Malone said of Murray’s toss, per the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “But if that’s the case, we’ll have to see what happens (with discipline).”

Murray could indeed face discipline for his actions, and his status for Game 3 of the Nuggets-Timberwolves series will be of particular interest to fans of each team.

Here’s what we know about Murray’s status and availability as Denver faces a 2-0 series deficit.

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The NBA hasn’t yet indicated whether it will review Murray’s actions during Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. If it does, Murray could face punishment for his actions, but it’s more likely he will face a fine than a suspension.

When looking at other similar offenses, the NBA has tended to exercise its option to fine players. Notably, Stephen Curry has been fined $25,000 multiple times for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands during a game. Meanwhile, Heat center Dewayne Dedmon was once ejected for throwing a massage gun onto the court, but he didn’t miss any additional game time because of a suspension.

As such, Murray is lucky he didn’t get caught. If he did, he may have been ejected. And at a minimum, he would have been whistled for a technical foul.

It’s also worth noting that crew chief Mark Davis indicated after the game that Murray may only have received a technical foul in-game had the officials reviewed the play for a “hostile act” call. 

“For an ejection you would have to determine it was thrown directly at somebody versus thrown in frustration,” Davis said, per the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

It appeared Murray’s toss was simply out of frustration. That should save him from a suspension, though it won’t protect him similarly against the fine.

Either way, Timberwolves coach Chris Finch hopes Murray’s actions during the contest will be addressed.

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

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Murray has never been suspended during his eight-year NBA career to date. He has only been ejected twice, once in 2021 for striking Tim Hardaway Jr. in the groin area against the Mavericks and once in 2023 after picking up two technicals against the Rockets.

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