Russell Westbrook said the fourth-quarter scuffle Friday between the Thunder and the Nuggets started because Jamal Murray was in his way.
Seven-time All-Star Westbrook attempted to move ahead of a jump-ball situation with 35.7 seconds left in the game after Paul George changed his stance ahead of competing with Torrey Craig for possession, but Murray was unwilling to budge.
Replay Review (Game Crew): player altercation in Q4 of #OKCatDEN. Ruling: Double technical foul assessed to Westbrook and Murray. pic.twitter.com/dF665sc81O
The 2017 MVP responded by shoving the Nuggets guard and then had a confrontation with Nikola Jokic, who ran in to help defend his teammate.
Westbrook and Murray were handed technical fouls, and the Nuggets went on to a 109-98 victory that sent them back to the top of the Western Conference.
“He was in my way,” said Westbrook, when asked what started the incident.
On whether Murray had said anything to him, he replied: “I really don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t mean nothing.”
Jamal on the last few minutes of tonight’s game.#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/5qrwimHYR0
Murray felt Westbrook’s frustration at an impending defeat got the better of him in the heat of the moment.
“I was standing in my spot, he tried to step over me, and then he shoved me first,” Murray said. “I guess they were losing or whatever, so I don’t know. Ask him.
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“Like I said, I didn’t do anything. It was probably because he was losing.
“We’re up, there’s 30 seconds left. What do you want me to do? I’m not doing anything.”
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