Nikola Jokic Receives Technical Foul After Sideline Scuffle With Suns Owner During Game 4


Photo: Instagram/Nikola Jokic

During Game 4 of the Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns NBA playoff series on Sunday, an on-court altercation broke out between Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and Suns owner Mat Ishbia.

With less than three minutes left in the second quarter and a close score, Jokic blocked a layup attempt by Suns player DeAndre Ayton.

Ayton fell into the stands while chasing the ball, and Jokic attempted to quickly inbound it to create an uneven fast break.

Photo: Instagram/Nikola Jokic had already established himself as one of the top players in the NBA and had an impressive playoff resume.

However, the fan holding the ball was none other than Suns owner Ishbia. When Jokic tried to retrieve the ball, Ishbia resisted, and Jokic pushed him. Another fan, who was later escorted off the floor, also pushed back.

Jokic was assessed a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct following the incident. The technical free throw awarded to Kevin Durant tied the score at 55 in the second quarter, and in a closely contested series like this one, every point is crucial.

Ishbia declined to comment when asked about the incident during halftime by ESPN reporter Ohm Youngmisuk. It is unclear what the NBA will do in response to the incident, as it involves an owner and a player.

If it were a fan involved in the incident, they would likely be ejected from the game, but the league may consider a possible fine for Ishbia for disrupting the flow of play by denying Jokic the ball.

Nonetheless, Ishbia's actions ultimately proved beneficial for the Suns in Game 4, as they got a free point and energized their crowd in the process. It is not uncommon for NBA players and team owners to engage in conflicts off the court, but seeing one occur on the court is a rarity.

Despite the incident, Jokic remained a dominant force in the game, finishing with a game-high 24 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists.

However, his performance was not enough to lead the Nuggets to victory, as the Suns won the game 125-118 and took a 3-1 lead in the series.

The Nuggets will have to win the next three games in a row to advance to the next round, a daunting task against a talented Suns team that has been playing exceptionally well.

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Source: CBS Sports
 


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