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Jamal Murray's elbow injury affects his rhythm in Game 6


Anthony Edwards and the Wolves powered past the Nuggets on Thursday to force Game 7.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jamal Murray failed to make a fadeaway on Denver’s first possession, then tried a floater that spun around the rim and spit out in portending fashion.

Neither of those misses hurt the normally smooth-shooting Nuggets point guard like what came next for him on defense in Minnesota in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.

As he tried to move around a high screen by Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert early in the first quarter on Thursday night, Murray hurt his right elbow in the collision with the NBA Defensive Player of the Year’s raised right elbow and immediately clutched over in pain. He flexed his arm back and forth to try to loosen up the joint as he turned up the court, but it never did.

Now he’s hurting again, and so are the defending champion Nuggets. They’ll host Game 7 on Sunday.

“I was never really getting into my rhythm again, and my team obviously needed me to tonight, and I didn’t,” said Murray, who also went 3 for 18 in the Game 2 loss. “So I’m disappointed in myself for not being able to give them the right production that I know I can.”

Murray finished just 4 for 18 from the floor for 10 points in the 115-70 defeat, playing 32 minutes before getting some extended rest in empty-the-bench time down the stretch as Minnesota built a lead as big as 50 points. He said he applied some numbing cream to the elbow to allow him to fully extend it on his jumpers without pain, but he never found his rhythm.

Murray, who was nagged by a strained left calf during the first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, has been bothered by right elbow pain in the past. He wears a protective sleeve over it.

With two off days until the decisive game instead of the typical one, Murray will have additional time to heal. Will that be enough?

“I hope, for our team’s sake,” he said. “I hope I can get it right.”

This has been quite the eventful postseason for Murray, who hit two last-second game-winners to oust the Lakers in five games in the first round. Then he chucked a heat pack onto the court from the bench in Denver during a Game 2 blowout by the Wolves that drew him a $100,000 fine from the league.

He bounced back strong with 24 points to lead the Nuggets to victory in Game 3, then sank a halftime buzzer-beater from beyond half court to highlight the Game 4 win in Minnesota.

Now all eyes will be on him again in Game 7 as he tries to shake off another disruption.

“It’s all behind us now,” Murray said. “I’ve just got to get ready and be able to be better for Sunday.”

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