Nuggets MVP Nikola Jokic is sent off for punching Suns player Cameron Payne
With the Denver Nuggets close to being eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA’s most valuable player, Nikola Jokic, was ejected from Sunday night’s game with a Flagrant 2 foul after swinging an intense frustration against the Phoenix Suns point guard, Cameron Payne.
After a lengthy review, Jokic was grossly fouled 2 and was ejected from Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal series in Denver with 3:52 remaining in the third quarter and the Nuggets trailing the Suns by eight points.
The offense came after Jokic missed a mark in attempting a one-handed shot forward into the basket, while briefly looking at the referee and pointing. In apparent frustration at not playing the play, he ran to hit the ball hard, hitting Pine in the face.
Referee David Guthrie can be heard on the broadcast explaining the decision, saying: “After reviewing the replay, there is an end, impact and follow-up.”
sun star Devin BookerAn immediate exception to the Jokic play, the Big Man face off as the two teams briefly push each other before parting. Booker was charged with a technical error.
After he was fired, Jokic appeared to apologize to Payne.
A flagrant offense 2 is defined as “unnecessary and excessive contact by a player against an opponent”.
The Suns lead the series 3-0 and have been in complete control since the first game, winning all three games with double digits.
Jokic left the match after scoring 22 points in 9 of 17 shots to continue with 11 rebounds and 4 assists in 28 minutes.