DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns on January 19, 2018 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Nuggets Notes: Murray Passes Concussion Protocol, Plays Against Suns

by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider
@chrisadempsey

By the time Friday afternoon rolled around, Jamal Murray already had two workouts under his belt (on Thursday) and had gone through a shootaround (on Friday).

It meant that just two days after Murray, the Nuggets’ starting point guard, was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol, he was essentially ready to return to action. After warming up prior to the game, it was official, Murray was available to play.

He started. And played one of his best games of the season with 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including five 3-pointers in the Nuggets’ loss to the Suns.

“I feel fine,” said Murray afterward. “I look fine, right? I was just playing. My head doesn’t hurt when I play.”

Murray started the game and third quarter in style. He scored 10 of the Nuggets’ first 19 points in the first quarter, making 3-of-4 shots in the opening frame, two of them 3-pointers. In the third quarter, Murray threw down two huge dunks to lead a rally.

He was solid all night long.

But he did lament the fact that he had to miss a game. Murray did not play in the Nuggets game at the L.A. Clippers on Wednesday, the first game he has missed in his still-young career.

“It was very disappointing,” Murray said. “I haven’t missed a game since high school. I haven’t missed many games in my life. … It wasn’t my decision to stay out, either. It kind of sucks because I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. But, I’ll start a new streak.”

Murray said he tried to talk coach Michael Malone into playing him against the Clippers.

“How am I going to have an iron man streak, and somebody else tells me to sit out,” said Murray, smiling. “That’s the frustrating part on my end. But, it’s my brain. I only have one of them. I’ve got to take care of it.”

CHANGES COMING?: Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he intends to shake things up after his team’s latest loss, Friday night to the Suns.

“We are 2-6 in our last eight games and I have to make some changes,” Malone said. “The way we are going is not the right way. I have to look at our roster and our lineup, look at who I am playing and the starting lineup and make some changes because I don’t like our team right now. I don’t like where we are headed. I don’t like how we are playing. I don’t like how we are competing on a nightly basis.”

Christopher Dempsey: christopher.dempsey@altitude.tv and @chrisadempsey on Twitter