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Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić was assessed a technical foul late in the first half of Sunday’s playoff game against the Phoenix Suns after he got into a bit of a confrontation with Suns governor Mat Ishbia.
The incident occurred after a loose ball rolled into the courtside row at the Footprint Center in Phoenix. Jokić went to go retrieve it and had some trouble getting the ball back and got a little physical, lightly shoving Ishbia back into his seat.
Typically known for his mellow nature on and off the court, the incident with Jokić took the building by surprise and had some fans calling for his ejection for pushing Ishbia, who bought the Suns back in December.
One fan even gave the two-time MVP a shove back and was eventually asked to leave the arena.
Jokić ultimately stayed in the game. After the game, referee Tony Brothers explained what led to Jokić getting a technical:
Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
Pool Report on the Nikola Jokic Technical Foul in the Second Quarter of Tonight’s Game 4 Matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns with words from referee Tony Brothers. pic.twitter.com/c7VnGcsw64
Over the first two quarters, he poured in 24 points, three assists and a rebound on 9-of-12 shooting from the field in 19 minutes of action.
Jokić finished the game with 53 points and 11 assists. Despite Jokić’s big game, the Suns pulled out a 129-124 victory to even the series.