Denver guard Jamal Murray is out indefinitely after tearing his ACL against Golden State on Monday night. David Zalubowski/Associated Press

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets will be without Jamal Murray indefinitely after the dynamic point guard suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.

The Nuggets announced the diagnosis in a statement Tuesday. It’s a big blow to a team coming off a season in which it advanced to the Western Conference finals and is hoping to make another deep postseason run.

Murray was hurt late in a loss at Golden State on Monday night. He drove the lane, tried to elevate off his left foot and fell to the ground, instantly grabbing his knee in pain.

Coach Michael Malone expressed immense concern soon after Murray’s injury. Same with his teammates and players around the league, who posted their well-wishes on social media.

Before Monday, the 24-year-old Murray had missed four games with a sore right knee. He is averaging 21.2 points and 4.8 assists this season as the Nuggets sit in fourth place in the West.

Murray drew rave reviews for his postseason performance inside the NBA bubble in Florida last season. He averaged 26.5 points and 6.6 assists to help the Nuggets overcome 3-1 series deficits against Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers before losing to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference finals.


This was looking like another season in which the Nuggets could challenge the top teams in the West, with Murray running the show. They also have a bona fide MVP contender in big man Nikola Jokic, who is averaging nearly a triple-double. Plus, they have a potent outside weapon in Michael Porter Jr. and depth after the addition of Aaron Gordon, who moved into the starting lineup following his acquisition from Orlando at the trade deadline.

“You all know what he means to us. He’s ‘the dude,’ you know what I’m saying – Nikola and Jamal,” Porter said after the 116-107 loss to the Warriors. “They’ve brought this team to new heights. You talk about their closing all the time, but we need Jamal. We all know that. But we’re more worried about his well-being right now – how he is individually – than we are the team. The team right now is an afterthought. We’re just worried about Jamal.”

Murray played 33 minutes and had 17 points against the Warriors before getting hurt with around 50 seconds remaining. A wheelchair was brought out for him, but he refused it and hobbled off the court with help.

Asked what was going through his mind when he saw Murray on the floor in pain, Jokic said: “It’s really sad to see anybody in pain. The guy who’s the warrior, who is going to fight through everything, was in pain.”

STEPHEN CURRY scored 53 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain for the most in Warriors franchise history during Golden State’s 116-107 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

Curry scored 21 points in the first quarter, giving him 17,786 in his career. That passed Chamberlain’s 17,783 with the franchise, a record he’d held since 1964.


“To be anywhere near him in any record book or now be on top, it’s surreal and it’s wild,” Curry said. “If you grow up in the game of basketball and you hear his name, you know it’s something extremely special, no matter what it is.”

Curry shot 14 of 24 from the field, making 10 of 18 3-pointers. The two-time league MVP added six rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes. It marked his seventh straight game scoring at least 30 points, the longest streak by a Warrior since Rick Barry during the 1966-67 season.

“You can feel it when he’s really got it going on and we could feel it pretty early tonight,” Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said. “It was kind of surprising to see him break that record in the first quarter. We all figured he’d find a way to get 19 points tonight, but maybe not in the first quarter.”

OBIT: Bobby “Slick” Leonard, the former NBA player and Hall of Fame coach who won three ABA championships with the Indiana Pacers and spent more than a half century with the organization, has died. He was 88.

His death was announced by the Pacers on Tuesday. No details were given. He had been in failing health in recent years.

Leonard had a record of 573-534 in 14 seasons as a coach, the last 12 with the Pacers.


He also made the winning free throws in the 1953 NCAA Tournament to give the Indiana Hoosiers the second of its five national titles and was later named one of the school’s 50 greatest players. The two-time All-American led the Hoosiers to Big Ten titles in 1953 and 1954 before joining the U.S. Army.

He then played seven years with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers and was named an NBA All-Star in 1963. But his greatest moments as a professional came after he took over the Pacers in 1968-69.

Leonard and his wife helped organized a telethon in 1977 to save the franchise, which was facing financial hardship after being one of the few ABA teams to join the NBA following the merger.

In 1985, he became the Pacers’ color commentator on television broadcasts and later moved into the radio booth where he coined his trademark phrase “Boom, Baby!” when Pacers players made 3-pointers.

Leonard was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in 2014. He’s also a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the Indiana Sports Writers and Broadcasters Hall of Fame and was the first person inducted into the Indiana University Sports Hall of Fame.

His victory total with the Pacers, 529, hangs on a banner in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse rafters.



NETS 127, TIMBERWOLVES 97: Kevin Durant scored 31 points on 11-for-15 shooting in his most productive performance in 2 1/2 months, as Brooklyn blew out host Minnesota.

The game was rescheduled from the previous night, in the aftermath of a fatal police shooting of a Black man in a nearby suburb. The Timberwolves held a moment of silence before tipoff for 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was killed after a traffic stop. Players from both teams wore black warmup shirts that read, “With liberty and justice for all,” with the last two words in all-caps for extra emphasis.

Durant played 27 minutes in his third game back from a strained left hamstring that kept him out for 23 games. The Nets, missing James Harden, Kyrie Irving and LaMarcus Aldridge, were in command from the jump and ahead by 23 points before the midpoint of the second quarter. They built their lead as big as 45 points early in the fourth quarter.

Joe Harris pitched in 23 points for the Nets, who had 31 assists on 46 made baskets.

Anthony Edwards had 27 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who played without Karl-Anthony Towns on the one-year anniversary of his mother’s death from COVID-19 complications. Towns chose to sit out and spend the time with his family.


HAWKS 107, RAPTORS 103: Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 23 points, Clint Capela added 19 points and 21 rebounds, and visiting Atlanta beat Toronto for its seventh win in eight games.

Kevin Huerter had 14 of his 17 points in the first half for Atlanta, and Brandon Goodwin added 18 points.

Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 30 points and rookie Malachi Flynn scored 22.

CLIPPERS 126, PACERS 115: Paul George scored 36 points as visiting Los Angeles won its sixth straight.

George also had seven rebounds and eight assists while improving to 4-0 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since being traded by the Pacers to Oklahoma City in July 2017. He has topped the 30-point mark in each of the Clippers’ last four games, the last two without All-Star teammate Kawhi Leonard, who sat out with a sore right foot.

Indiana was led by Malcolm Brogdon’s 29 points.

LAKERS 101, HORNETS 93: Kyle Kuzma scored 24 points, and visiting Los Angeles held on to beat Charlotte,  which was missing five of its top six scorers.

Dennis Schroder added 19 points and Andre Drummond chipped in with 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who closed out a seven-game trip with a 4-3 record to remain in fifth place in the Western Conference.

Devonte Graham led the Hornets with 19 points. Caleb Martin had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

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