Kyrie Irving isn’t here for Jamal Murray’s BS.
The Denver Nuggets guard torched the Boston Celtics on Monday night, pouring in a career-high 48 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter to help Denver grab a 115-107 win at Pepsi Center.
And with the clock winding down, the Kentucky product might have crossed a line.
Boston called off the dogs with under a minute to play, but Murray didn’t take his foot off the gas. In an effort to record a 50-point night, the guard flew down the lane with 17 seconds left and missed a shot a the rim. But he wasn’t done there. After Irving turned the ball over, Murray hoisted a 3-pointer that clanked off the rim as time expired, causing Irving to grab the ball and fling it into the crowd.
After the loss, the Celtics star praised Murray’s game but had some choice words for the young guard.
“I mean, what kind of competitor wouldn’t it bother, you know what I’m saying?” Irving said, per NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg. “Like I would understand if we had fouled him (and he’s) going to the free-throw line. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it — obviously, I was pissed off at the game — but it’s time to decompress and move on. Congratulations to him, having 48 points, you know he did it in great fashion against us. Our defense has to be better, especially against a player like that, mid-pick-and-roll.
“You know, he was the primary concern tonight and you know, he made us pay in certain instances, making some tough shots and some tough layups, you know, but the ball deserves to go in the crowd after a bulls— move like that. So I threw it in the crowd.”
Marcus Morris also wasn’t thrilled with the late shots, but he thinks the move was a product of Murray’s youth.
“I know him personally, so I’m not gonna sit up here and bag him,” Morris said, per The Athletic. “If I was out there, I probably would’ve did something. It’s definitely unprofessional, but he’s a young player. He’ll learn later down the road, I guess.”
Murray did acknowledge after the game that he didn’t mean any disrespect toward the Celtics, telling reporters he hopes they understand he just “had it in his mind to get 50.”
Irving dazzled with 31 points of his own, but Murray got the better of both him and the Celtics on Monday night. We’re sure words might be exchanged when the two meet at TD Garden on March 18.
Here are more notes from Celtics-Nuggets:
— Boston has lost the first two games on its current five-game road trip. The Celtics will head to Phoenix to face the Suns on Thursday night.
— The Celtics struggled from 3-point range in the Mile-High City, hitting just nine of 31 attempts from downtown.
— Boston jumped out to an early 18-point lead in the first quarter, but Murray’s hot hand and offensive stagnation allowed the Nuggets to quickly erase the early edge.
— Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each scored 15 points in the win, while Al Horford chipped in with 12.
— Gordon Hayward went 3-for-7 from the field with eight points.
Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images