Jamal Murray was thrown out of the Denver Nuggets’ 117-113 win against the Dallas Mavericks early on Monday night after he hit Tim Hardaway Jr. in the groin.
Murray, after colliding with Hardaway and falling back near the baseline in the third quarter at the American Airlines Center, stood back up and reached through Hardaway’s legs with his right arm in the process. As Murray made contact — which appeared to be intentional — Hardaway jolted back and bent over, clearly in pain.
Yo Jamal Murray just violated Tim Hardaway Jr. pic.twitter.com/hfBJgcua9q
— Dave Loughran (@Loughy_D) January 26, 2021
Murray was assessed a flagrant foul and ejected from the contest. He finished with 16 points.
While Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after the game that he hadn’t yet seen the replay of the incident, he did say that officials told him the call was “fairly obvious.”
“I’ll look at it. Jamal didn't say anything,” Malone said, via AltitudeTV. “I think it got to that point. There was a lot of physicality between those two. They came out very aggressive in that third quarter, which you knew they would after our first half. … Hopefully, it’s nothing more than Jamal being ejected tonight and we can use that as a learning experience.”
— AltitudeTV (@AltitudeTV) January 26, 2021
Nuggets survive another Luka Doncic triple-double
Hardaway seemed to take the incident as motivation — at least, it seemed that way in the immediate aftermath.
Hardaway scored 10 of the game’s next 14 points in less than 90 seconds to put the Mavericks back on top, which eventually propelled them to a slight lead to start the fourth quarter.
That lead, though, didn’t last. The Nuggets rallied late on a 12-2 run to retake the lead in the final minutes and grab the four-point win.
Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with yet another triple-double — the 31st of his career — with 35 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds. Hardaway finished with 19 points, and both Kristaps Porzingis and James Johnson added 16 points.
Michael Porter Jr. led Denver with a stellar night off the bench. He finished with 30 points and eight rebounds while shooting 6 of 10 from behind the arc. Nikola Jokic added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, and JaMychal Green put up 17 points off the bench.
Though he wasn’t happy with it in the moment, Hardaway didn’t seem to hold any grudges after the game. He was more focused on the final scoreboard.
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) January 26, 2021
“Just playing the game and I guess [Murray] was just frustrated that they didn’t call a foul,” Hardaway said, via Fox Sports Southwest. “I was trying to do the best I can to deny the ball. The rest speaks for itself. It happens in the game.
“It sucks, but it doesn’t even matter at this point. We lost.”
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