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Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray throws heat pack on court during game, slammed as ‘inexcusable and dangerous’

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Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray throws heat pack on court during game, slammed as ‘inexcusable and dangerous’

Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray threw a heat pack on to the floor during his team’s playoff loss on Monday night, opening himself up for potential discipline for the unsportsmanlike act.

Murray was seated at the far end of Denver’s bench when he hurled the object onto the court with about 4:40 left in the second quarter as Timberwolves big man and fellow Kentucky Wildcats alum Karl-Anthony Towns drove for a layup.

Minnesota defeated defending champion Denver, 106-80, to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the conference semifinals. Murray left the dressing room before reporters could ask him about the incident.

In addition to Towns, Denver’s Reggie Jackson also came close to stepping on the heat pack before Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope spotted the object and removed it.

“It’s inexcusable and dangerous,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said of Murray’s toss.

Finch didn’t see Murray throw it and didn’t blame referees for also missing it.

“I’m sure it was just a mistake and an oversight (by officials),” Finch said. “I’m sure there was nothing intentional by the officiating (missing it) at all. But certainly we can’t allow that to happen.”

Shortly after the heat pack was thrown, the public address announcer warned fans not to toss any objects on to the floor. But Finch, even if he didn’t see Murray’s throw, knew it couldn’t have come from a fan.

“We tried to impress upon them (the officials) that there probably aren’t many fans in the building that have a heat pack,” said Finch. “So, it probably had to come from the bench, which they found logical.”

Murray’s act of frustration came as Minnesota was pulling away to an early double-digit lead that the Timberwolves would not relinquish.

“I was the lead official and I didn’t notice it was on the floor or where it came from until Towns scored,” crew chief Marc Davis said.

Had referees seen Murray throw it, he could have been called for a technical foul.

“We weren’t aware it had come from the bench,” Davis said. “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.”

Asked after the game if he feared Murray could face league discipline, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he didn’t even know how the heat pack ended up on the floor.

“I know a heating pack was on the floor but it was not in my field of vision,” the coach said.

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