Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic Issued Foul for Shoving Suns Owner Mat Ishbia

Nikola Jokic had a career-high 53 points in the Denver Nuggets’ 129-124 loss to the Suns in Phoenix on Sunday night in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinals series. But all the postgame chatter was about him grabbing a ball away from the Suns owner Mat Ishbia in a scuffle at courtside and Ishbia’s apparent flop at the ensuing contact.

With two and a half minutes left in the second quarter, momentum took Josh Okogie of the Suns and the ball into the front row. Okogie wound up sprawled across some fans while the ball ended up in the hands of Ishbia.

Jokic tried to grab the ball, hoping to inbound and restart the game quickly with a five-on-four advantage. Ishbia resisted, and the ball popped away to some other fans a few feet away.

Jokic’s forearm then made contact with Ishbia, who, perhaps remembering his days as an end-of-the-bench player at Michigan State, seemed to sell the contact hard, throwing his hands in the air and falling into his seat.

Ishbia seemed ready to move past the incident on Twitter Monday morning: “Suspending or fining anyone over last night’s incident would not be right,” he wrote. “I have a lot of respect for Jokic and don’t want to see anything like that.”

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