nuggets Star center Nikola Jokic was assessed a technical foul after a brief brawl in the second quarter of Denver’s Western Conference semifinal Game 4 in Phoenix on Sunday night. sons Owner Matt Ishbia
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The incident occurred with 2:36 left in the first half when Jokic blocked Deandre Ayton’s layup attempt. sons guards Josh Okogie and nuggets Guard Jamal Murray scrambled for a loose ball with Okogie – and the ball – flew into the first row of seats, where Ishbia was sitting
Ishbia ended up with the ball, and Jokic tried and snatched it from him. Jokic was somewhat successful in his attempt, but as he tried to knock the ball loose, sons Owner wanted to swatt it, prompting Jokic to push Ishbia aside
The gesture sent Ishbia back to his seat, where he raised his arms in the air as fans in the vicinity reacted in shock.
Referee crew chief Tony Brothers told a pool reporter that Jokic was issued a non-player technical foul for “fanning” the ball away and intentionally pushing and shoving it down. The brothers decided not to eject Jokic because he “didn’t just run in and hit a fan.”
Ishbia, who played for coach Tom Izzo as a walk-on at Michigan State, said he was fine and focused more on the outcome of the game, which sons ended up winning 129–124 to tie the series at 2–2.
However, Jokic didn’t believe he was wrong.
Jokic said, ‘The fan put his hand on me first. “I thought the league was going to protect us. Maybe I’m wrong. I know who he is, but he’s a fan. Isn’t he?”
nuggets Coach Michael Malone stood behind the two-time MVP
“There’s going to be a ball, and there are some fans holding the ball who want to be a part of the game,” Malone said. “Just pass the ball up, man.”
Jokic finished with a career-high 53 points plus 11 assists and four rebounds.
Game 5 is set for Tuesday night in Denver.
– Field Level Media