‘It makes me better': Jamal Murray embraces 'villain arc' as Nuggets bounce back in Game 3 vs Timberwolves

Published May 11, 2024, 2:50 PMPao Ambat

Jamal Murray embraces the challenge of being perhaps the “most hated man” in Minnesota as of today.

After a lackluster start to the Western Conference semifinals series, Jamal Murray finally found his stride in Game 3.

With their backs against the wall, Jamal Murray and the defending champion Denver Nuggets understood the assignment.  

Murray, who was heavily booed in Minnesota, clapped back with his best game yet of the Western Conference semifinals series. 

“It makes me better. You have to respond in a way. I cherish those moments,” Murray said after leading the Denver Nuggets’ 117-90 Game 3 demolition of the Minnesota Timberwolves to trim the series to 2-1. 


The 27-year-old NBA champion silenced his critics - and the whole Timberwolves crowd- early behind a 18-point first half and finished with 24 points on 11-of-21 shooting.

Murray scored just a total of 25 points on torrid 9-for-32 shooting with a minus-38 rating over the first two games, and was roundly booed every time he touched the ball in Game 3.

It didn’t matter.

“It just makes you be locked in and be there for your teammates, who were all positive all-night and talked to me to be aggressive all night.”

Just two days ago, the Canadian guard was fined $100,000 by the league for “throwing multiple objects in the direction of a game official during live play,” and declined to speak to the media afterwards.

The Nuggets guard said the team took the challenge of being down 0-2 as the series shifts to Minnesota.

“Just [being] focused. Not just me, but everybody was focused and dialed in and understood the task at hand. It was nice to get a win today but like I said, we gotta bring that energy for the next game too and we need to play a lot better.

However, Murray expects the Timberwolves to come out prepared in Game 4.

“I think they’re gonna be super aggressive and more desperate than they were tonight. They’re a tough team, got weapons all over the place.”

Game 4 will be on May 13, Monday, Philippine time.