Nikola Jokic’s MVP season ended a year before the Nuggets teammates finished their year on Sunday night.
The big man was knocked out of Game 4 of the playoff game by Denver with Phoenix for a Flagrant 2 foul with 3:52 left in the third quarter. Jokic hit Cameron Payne in the face trying to get the ball out of Payne’s hands.
David Guthrie, head of the court crew he told a pool reporter after the game his crew saw “wind, impact and follow-up” as it caused the necessary and excessive contact over the shoulders and face, which he complied with as a rule for the 2nd Penalty Penalty.
Before the throw-in, Jokic hit his nose with Devin Booker Suns guard, and he was technically fouled for the encounter. Jokic took 22 minutes and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.
“I wanted to change the pace of the game, I wanted to give it some energy,” Jokic told reporters Denver lost 125-118 to finish the four-game sweep in Phoenix. “Did I hit him? Didn’t I hit him? We don’t know. So I apologized, because I didn’t hurt him or intentionally hit him in the head.”
Nuggets coach Mike Malone journalists say postgame he was “surprised” that officials would be expelled from the league’s MVP by the coup.
“I think it was pure frustration,” Malon said. “I think he felt a couple of last plays when Nikola had the ball, he didn’t get a call and he went there to make a foul, because he’s done it many times before. A lot of players do that. because he was playing ball. “
Denver was trailing 83-75 when he tried to avoid a Phoenix sweep attempt.
Sounds will now play for the Western Championship against the winner of the Jazz-Clippers conference semifinal series.