It was a tough night for the Nuggets. Things went bad and then they got worse.
Jamal Murray was finally back in the lineup tonight after missing four straight games with right knee soreness. With just under one minute left in regulation, he drove through the lane on the break to attempt a layup and his left knee buckled. He fell to the floor in agony, holding his knee as Denver’s medical staff rushed over. He had to be carried off the floor.
“Talked to him briefly no real update,” Michael Malone said of his conversation with Murray postgame. “I think they’re going to get some imaging of the knee and see what the injury is but as of right now obviously very down locker room. Yes, we lost the game but I think everyone’s thoughts are with Jamal and hoping that he’s going to be ok.”
The training staff took another look at the game footage and said it looked like he hyperextended his knee according to Malone but they will await the results of the imaging at this time.
Although Murray’s knee had been bothering him recently, Malone said he felt comfortable coming back to play tonight after having those four games off.
“He wanted to come back tonight,” Malone said. “He felt good about coming back tonight and it’s just one of those things with injuries, it’s just something that you can’t control.”
The Nuggets are hoping for the best and know how much Murray means to them and their success.
“Everyone knows Jamal is a huge piece to this team alongside Nikola,” Monté Morris said. “Averaging a bunch of points and just his leadership out there. He does everything so seeing him go down like that you never think that’s going to happen. He lifts so much, his body is so strong, it’s a touchy subject. I don’t really like speaking on injuries.”
The Nuggets lost their second straight game for the first time since mid-February after coming off one of their best stretches of the season winning eight in a row and 17 of their last 20 games.
Steph Curry went off for 53 points igniting a 43-22 run in the third to lift the Warriors to a 116-107 win.
You can try to game plan for Curry but as most teams know, it’s nearly impossible to contain the greatest shooter in NBA history. He had a historic night, passing Wilt Chamberlain to become the Warriors’ All-Time Leading Scorer and got nearly every shot he wanted, finishing the night shooting 14 of 24 from the field, 10 of 18 from three and 15 of 16 from the free throw line.
Like their last game against the Celtics, it looked like the Nuggets had things under control. They kept the game close in the first quarter despite Steph Curry going off for 21 points shooting 6 of 9 from the field and 5 of 8 from three.
Denver did its best to regain the lead in the second quarter going on a 10-0 run behind Murray’s 7 points to take a 61-56 lead to close the first half.
Third quarters have been the Nuggets’ weakness this season and continued to hold true tonight as the Warriors outscored them 43-22 shooting 63 percent from the field and 50 percent from three.
“Teams just give us different looks,” Morris said. “We just got to do a better job of executing definitely and bringing the energy and getting ready to play straight from the half. I think other teams just try to come out and jump on us because they maybe know that’s our weakness in the third coming out the locker room so we got to be better in that aspect.”
The Nuggets made the game interesting with under 2 minutes left to play getting to within 7 points but all they could think about was Murray’s injury. The game came second.
“We need Jamal,” Porter Jr. said of how important he is to the team. “We all know that and we’re more worried about his well being right now, how he is individually, than we are worried about the team.”
Murray finished the night with 17 points while Nikola Jokić had himself another double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Porter Jr. added 24 on 11 of 21 shooting from the field.
The Nuggets will continue to keep us updated on Murray’s test results but in the meantime, have another game to prepare for at home on Wednesday against the Miami Heat.