The Canadian appeared to be laboring as he battled through a right knee contusion in Game 5. However, the Nuggets guard refused to use his injury as an excuse for his subpar performance.
"Eighty-something days in the bubble and a lot of minutes," Murray said postgame, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "I didn't have the energy I needed to have for my teammates today. Without me moving as hard or cutting as hard or scoring as much, I can be so much better in so many different ways. I can't just try to get through the game. I have to try to help lead my team to win by any means."
Murray scored a series-low 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting while also adding eight assists and four boards. It was a disappointing end to one of the most memorable individual postseason runs in recent memory.
The Kentucky product averaged 26.5 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.8 boards across 19 playoff games. Murray became the only player in NBA history to register at least 25 points and five assists per contest while also shooting a minimum of 50% from the field and 45% from deep during a postseason campaign consisting of at least 10 games, according to StatMuse.
Murray's pair of 50-point performances in the opening round of the playoffs against the Utah Jazz helped orchestrate the first of two 3-1 series comebacks as Denver reached its first conference finals since 2009.
"I mean, he's amazing," said teammate Nikola Jokic. "He was our leader. His energy through the whole playoffs. He was banged up. He was injured before, even when I came here (to the bubble late), he was a little bit banged up ... But he's a dog. He's a fighter. He's a competitor. He's an amazing shooter. He played amazing.
"Since when I came here five years ago, we had 33 wins that season. And today we're in the Western Conference finals. So I think it's interesting to think about the huge improvement that we have, me as a player, as a group, as a whole organization. It was amazing improvement."