NBA MVP Nikola Jokic’s playoff ejection splits opinion as Phoenix Suns knock out Denver Nuggets – –

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NBA MVP Nikola Jokic’s playoff ejection splits opinion as Phoenix Suns knock out Denver Nuggets – –



With 3:52 to play in the third quarter and the Nuggets behind the Suns by eight points, the NBA MVP gave Cameron Payne a hard blow after not committing his own fault, releasing the ball but also hitting Payne in the face.

The foul sparked a brawl between the two groups of players, with Jokic and Devin Booker coming face to face in the middle of it all.

After everyone was separated, Jokic was given a flagrant foul of 2 – meaning he was kicked out of the game – while Booker was given a technical foul.

Jokic finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes, and without him, the Nuggets fell to the Suns 125-118 in their best-of-seven NBA playoff series to complete a four-game sweep. As a result, the Suns advance to the Western Conference Finals where they will face either the Utah Jazz or the Los Angeles Clippers.
Afterward, Jokic said he only committed the fault as a spark for his team and apologized to Payne.

“I wanted to change the pace of the game, I wanted to give us energy,” he told the media. “I tried to make a hard mistake. Did I hit him? I did not know. I apologize if I did that because I didn’t mean to hurt him or hit him on the head on purpose. “

With the Nuggets’ season on the line in the face of playoff elimination, members of the sports fraternity took to social media to question whether it was the right decision to kick Jokic out.

Ja Morant, 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year called the “soft league”.
“Playoffs. elimination match. Give it a flagrant 1 and play ball, ”Memphis Grizzlies point guard mentionned on Twitter.
Trae Young just keeps the Atlanta Hawks mentionned “Wow” in reaction, as former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Robert Griffin III expressed disbelief at the decision.
“I still can’t believe they sent MVP Jokic out for hitting a ball really hard,” said the 31-year-old. mentionned on Twitter.

After their seventh straight playoff win, a franchise record, Booker admitted he had nothing against Jokic, saying it was an “emotional game.”

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Jokic confronts Booker.

“I don’t think he wanted to hurt,” he told media. “It was just a fault of frustration. It was difficult to defend my teammate. That was all. I saw him go to Cam (Payne) after and apologize. I have played against the Joker several times. I know he is not a malicious gamer. “

The Suns have advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2010 – the last time they even reached the playoffs.



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