Nuggets’ Michael Malone screams in ref’s face, Jamal Murray tosses heat pack as Denver drops Game 2

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Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone and star guard Jamal Murray expressed their frustrations in the team’s Game 2 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

Malone exploded on a referee in the first quarter. He was upset about a no-call after Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns went through Murray on a layup. He ran right onto the court and screamed in official Marc Davis’ face. He was not given a technical foul.

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Michael Malone rubs his head

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone searches for answers during the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Ball Arena in Denver on Monday, May 6, 2024. (AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

“I owe it to Jamal Murray, or anybody else in that situation, to voice my opinion, to voice my concern and my disagreement,” Malone said of the incident. “That team over there in Minnesota, I have to give them credit. They’re very good team. They came in here and won two games. Tonight, they ran us off the floor.”

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Murray’s frustrations carried over into the second quarter.

He threw a heat pack toward the court after a Towns layup. He was not called for a technical, but the public address announcer warned the building not to throw things onto the court. Davis said he was unaware the heat pack came from the bench and Murray would have gotten a technical foul.

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch was unhappy with that incident.

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Jamal Murray looks for a foul

Jamal Murray, #27 of the Denver Nuggets, looks for a foul call while playing the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second quarter during Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round Playoffs at Ball Arena on May 6, 2024, in Denver. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

“We tried to impress upon them that there’s probably not many fans in the building that have a heat pack,” Finch said. “So, it probably had to come from the bench, which they found logical. But yeah, it’s inexcusable and dangerous and, you know, I’m sure it was just a mistake and an oversight. I’m sure there was nothing intentional about the officiating at all. But certainly can’t allow it to happen.”

Minnesota won the game 106-80. Towns and Anthony Edwards both contributed with 27 points each.

The Timberwolves held the Nuggets to just 29-of-83 shooting – even without center Rudy Gobert.

“We’ve had some really good defensive efforts this year,” Finch said. “That has to be right up there with the best of them.”

Anthony Edwards looks to pass

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, right, drives to the basket as Denver Nuggets forward Justin Holiday defends in the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series on Monday, May 6, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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The Timberwolves took a 2-0 series lead and now have won six consecutive playoff games dating back to their sweep of the Phoenix Suns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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