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Murray's elbow is hurting after early injury and 4-for-18 shooting night in Game 6 flop by Nuggets

Sport

Murray's elbow is hurting after early injury and 4-for-18 shooting night in Game 6 flop by Nuggets
Sport

Sport

Murray's elbow is hurting after early injury and 4-for-18 shooting night in Game 6 flop by Nuggets

2024-05-17 14:24 Last Updated At:14:31

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.”

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert loses control of the basketball as Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) defends during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert loses control of the basketball as Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) defends during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) shoots over Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) during the second half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) shoots over Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) during the second half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray walks on the court during the first half of Game 6 of the team's NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray walks on the court during the first half of Game 6 of the team's NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

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England coach Southgate targeted after 0-0 draw with Slovenia at Euro 2024

2024-06-26 06:46 Last Updated At:06:50

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Top of the group, unbeaten and on the favorable side of the draw for the knockout phase of Euro 2024. It’s a case of job done for England.

Try telling that to the fans who jeered loudly and threw beer cups as the final whistle blew on a 0-0 draw with Slovenia at Cologne Stadium on Tuesday.

Criticism of England's performances in Germany has been fierce.

“I’ve not seen any team qualify and receive similar,” manager Gareth Southgate said.

He believes he and his England team could be paying the price for its success under his leadership. And safe passage through to the round of 16 maintains his personal record of advancing from the group stage of every major tournament he's taken charge of, dating back to the World Cup in 2018.

“I think probably expectation (is different). We’ve made England over the last six or seven years fun again. I think it has been enjoyable for the players,” Southgate said. “We’ve got to be very, very careful that it stays that way.”

England hasn't been fun to watch at these Euros with a 1-0 win against Serbia its only victory in Group C. That was followed by a 1-1 draw with Denmark and the 0-0 with Slovenia.

Its performance against Denmark was so uninspired that former captain and now BBC presenter Gary Lineker used an expletive to describe it. And Southgate's team will likely need a sharp upturn in form if it is to live up to its pre-tournament billing as one of the favorites to be crowned European champion.

Still, it can look forward to the knock out phase with a certain degree of optimism having ended up on the opposite side of the draw to Spain, France, Germany and Portugal after advancing as group winner.

“That was the aim before the start of the tournament. Come top of the group and control our destiny,” captain Harry Kane said. “I thought we played a lot better than the other two games. We just couldn’t find that final finish.”

The result also saw Slovenia reach the round of 16 for the first time and Croatia was eliminated.

“We are such a small country, with such a big heart and mental strength. That’s why I'm very proud of my team,” coach Matjaz Kek said. “This is only the beginning for a new and beautiful era for Slovenian football.”

While it was a proud night for Slovenians, it was another performance that highlighted England's problems.

In a game of few chances, substitute Cole Palmer could have sealed the win in stoppage time, but his shot was saved by Slovenia goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Again England looked short of ideas and could have gone behind early on when Benjamin Sesko had a free header from inside the box.

Bukayo Saka had a first-half goal ruled out for offside and other than Palmer's late chance, England rarely looked like finding a winner.

“You can’t go into every game with such pressure and score four goals. Football doesn’t work like that," Southgate said. "It is important to win the group to control your own destiny.”

A masked Kylian Mbappé scored his first goal of the Euros, but France drew 1-1 with Poland to finish runner-up in Group D behind Austria, which beat the Netherlands 3-2.

Mbappé wore a protective mask after breaking his nose in France’s opening game against Austria and scored from the penalty spot. But Robert Lewandowski’s twice-taken spot kick gave already eliminated Poland its first point of the tournament.

James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Slovenia's Andraz Sporar, right, is fouled by England's Marc Guehi during a Group C match at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Slovenia's Andraz Sporar, right, is fouled by England's Marc Guehi during a Group C match at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

England's Jude Bellingham looks on during a Group C match between the England and Slovenia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

England's Jude Bellingham looks on during a Group C match between the England and Slovenia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

England's Harry Kane, left, runs with the ball ahead Slovenia's Benjamin Sesko during a Group C match between the England and Slovenia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

England's Harry Kane, left, runs with the ball ahead Slovenia's Benjamin Sesko during a Group C match between the England and Slovenia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

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