NBA Fans almost saw yet another player score 50-point in a game this season (which would have been the fifth time already). But, Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray game up two points shy last night – missing a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have given him 51. Not only did he miss scoring 50-points, but he angered of Celtic star Kyrie Irving in the process.
With time winding down in the game last night between the Celtics and the Nuggets, Denver had a comfortable 115-107 lead and the win. But, as the clock ran out, Murray threw up a 3-point attempt in an effort to eclipse the half-century mark and the Celtics—especially Irving—didn’t take too kindly to it.
Kyrie got the ball after the missed shot and wasn’t able to hide his anger. Irving first pulled his hand away when Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez tred to shake it (Fernandez had been a player development assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers during Irving’s first two years with the team) and then he turned away, heaved the ball into the stands and walked off the court.
ESPN quotes Irving after the game saying that “the ball deserves to go in the crowd after a bulls#$t move like that. So I threw it in the crowd.” But, although, still obviously upset, Irving did manage to congratulate Murray on a great game and called out his team's defense — saying it has to be better.
For his part, Murray—whose 48 points puts him in first place on the list of most points in a game by a Canadian-born player (Andrew Wiggins at 47 back in 2016-17)—did seem to take ownership of his actions and realized he may have gone to far. Talking after the game Murray apologized multiple times and talked about how he just got caught up in the moment:
“I think my emotions took over, as it normally does. No disrespect to the Boston organization and fans with that shot -- I just had in my mind that I was going to go 50, and I think everybody kind of understood that was what I was trying to do… I really wasn't meaning no disrespect. ... I know half the team over there, so no hard feelings.”
Playing at home with the crowd urging him on to get 50, can you really blame the guy for taking one last shot?