Jokic ejected from Game 4 loss after hard swipe at Suns' Payne
Officials assessed the recently named MVP a flagrant-2 foul midway through the third quarter of Sunday's Game 4 for striking Cameron Payne while attempting to dislodge the ball.
Jokic and Suns star Devin Booker faced off in the aftermath, forcing their teammates to intervene.
Booker received a flagrant-1 foul for the sequence.
The ejection was Jokic's first since March 2019. The 26-year-old center finished the game with 22 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and one block in 28 minutes.
"I wanted to change the rhythm of the game, I wanted to give us some energy, maybe change the whistle a little bit, so I wanted to make a hard foul," Jokic reasoned postgame, according to ESPN's Royce Young. "Did I hit him, did I not hit him? We don't know. So I say sorry if I did."
The Nuggets trailed 83-75 at the time of the incident and went on to lose 125-118.
Phoenix will face either the Utah Jazz or the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference finals. Utah currently boasts a 2-1 series lead.
- U.S. loses to France, 25-game Olympic win streak ends
- Report: Rockets aggressively pursuing Pistons' No. 1 pick
- T-Wolves block Hernangomez from Olympics, upsetting Spanish federation
- Dream ignited: How Jonathan Kuminga made his case to be drafted top 5
- Mind the gap: The basketball world is catching up to the U.S.