NBA

Denver Nuggets C Nikola Jokic won’t be suspended for incident with Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia

By Sports Desk May 08, 2023

Nikola Jokic will be available for Game 5 of the Denver Nuggets’ Western Conference semi-final series against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday in Denver.

Jokic reportedly has been fined $25,000, but the NBA decided on Monday they would not suspend the superstar centre for his involvement in a scuffle with Suns owner Mat Ishbia on Sunday that resulted in a technical foul for the two-time league MVP.

There was speculation that Jokic could be suspended for an incident that occurred with less than 3 minutes to go in the second quarter in the Suns’ 129-124 win to even the series at 2-2.

The play began when Jokic blocked a Deandre Ayton shot sending the ball heading out of bounds by the baseline.

The ball ended up in the arm of Ishbia, who cradled it under his arm as Jokic attempted to grab it back.

Ishbia did not immediately return the ball and it flipped a few rows back as Jokic tried to pull it from his arm.

As Jokic then reached for the ball he raised his elbow up to Ishbia’s chest and made contact.

Ishbia then fell down into his seat with his arms raised.

The refs then huddled to discuss what transpired, and decided Jokic’s actions were worthy of a technical foul.

That decision, however, sparked significant debate as to whether Ishbia flopped or if the Denver big man used excessive force.

Kevin Durant ended up making the technical free throw to tie the score at 55.

Jokic defended his actions after the game in which he finished with a career-high 53 points on 20-of-30 shooting, along with 11 assists.

Earlier Monday, Ishbia showed no ill-will toward Jokic, tweeting out that he was hopeful the league wouldn’t punish him.

“Great win for the Suns last night in an amazing series so far!” Ishbia posted. “That should be and is the only story. Suspending of fining anyone over last nights incident would not be right. I have a lot of respect for Jokic and don’t want to see anything like that. Excited for game 5! Go Suns!”

The home team has won every game in this series, and the Nuggets are 5-0 in Denver this postseason.

Jokic has been outstanding in this series, averaging 36.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 9.5 assists in the four games.

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