With his team fighting to avoid being swept, the league MVP was ejected from Game 4 in the third quarter after fouling Cameron Payne.
Late in the third quarter of Sunday’s Game 4 against the Suns, Nuggets center and newly crowned league MVP Nikola Jokić was ejected after being issued a flagrant 2 foul for recklessly swiping for the ball and hitting Phoenix guard Cameron Payne in the face.
The foul sparked a confrontation between the two teams, with both sides needing to be separated.
Jokić’s foul came as the Suns were in the midst of a 12–5 run, extending their lead from one to eight in less than four minutes. It followed a missed shot by Jokić, who appeared to be frustrated with officials for not calling a foul.
The call sparked some reaction on social media as well from other NBA players:
Jokić finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds on 9-for-17 shooting, with four assists and a block. The Suns led by eight at halftime and by 13 through three quarters, shooting a combined 54% from the field and 42.1% on three-point attempts. Phoenix also shot a perfect 20-for-20 from the free throw line.
Phoenix would go on to win, 125–118, behind 71 combined points from Chris Paul and Devin Booker, advancing to the conference finals for the first time since 2010.
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