Sport NBA playoffs 2021: Jokic's ejection leaves MVP and both teams 'shocked' as Nuggets suffer sweep

10:25  14 june  2021
10:25  14 june  2021 Source:   goal.com

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Jokic ’ s ejection served as the unofficial end to a tremendous season for the Nuggets . It didn’t have to be this way, though. Malone’s decision to insert Barton and Morris into the starting lineup appeared to pay at least small dividends early on as Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon struggled (combined for 11 points on 4-of-12 So, Jokic and the Nuggets simply became “a lot of teams ,” as Phoenix rolled to its seventh consecutive win after losing Games 2 and 3 in the opening round to the Los Angeles Lakers. Jokic ended the night with 22 points and 11 rebounds, becoming the first reigning MVP to suffer a

Denver' s newly crowned MVP was tossed from Game 4, but most on social media thought the call was too harsh. Suns star Devin Booker immediately confronted Jokic , as the teams briefly scuffled before being separated. After he was ejected , Jokic appeared to apologize to Payne. Folks quickly weighed in on social media, with NBA stars Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks and Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies among those who felt the ejection was too harsh, particularly in an elimination game.

NBA MVP Nikola Jokic did not expect to be ejected as the Denver Nuggets were swept from the playoffs in a controversial decision that surprised head coach Michael Malone and Phoenix Suns counterpart Monty Williams.

Nikola Jokic holding a basketball: Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets © Getty Images Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets

Jokic was tossed in the third quarter of Denver's 125-118 defeat to the second-seeded Suns, who sealed a 4-0 series victory in the Western Conference semi-finals on Sunday.

Crowned MVP on Tuesday, Jokic was assessed a flagrant two foul following a lengthy review after taking a swing at Suns guard Cameron Payne in Game 4.

Jokic became the first MVP swept in a postseason series since Magic Johnson in 1989 and the Serbian star discussed the incident post-game.

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2021 NBA playoffs . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Under the NBA ' s regular playoff format, the eight teams with the most wins in each conference qualified for the playoffs . Pts: Nikola Jokić 36 Rebs: Nikola Jokić 11 Asts: Facundo Campazzo 8. Pts: Damian Lillard 37 Rebs: Jusuf "Dallas Mavericks clinch playoff spot; Nuggets move up to 3rd: NBA Western Conference playoff race

"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 said.

"Did I hit him [Payne], did I not hit him? We don't know. So I say sorry if I did because I did not want to injure him or hit him in the head on purpose. I thought honestly they would not eject me."

"I shouldn't do that. Of course it was my bad. I'm sorry," Jokic said. "But I cannot change it now. It happens."

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Already facing an uphill task to avoid elimination, Jokic's absence made life even tougher for the third-seeded Nuggets as Suns duo Chris Paul and Devin Booker dominated.

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If not, Nikola Jokic will become the first MVP to get swept in a playoff series since the league adopted the best-of-seven format for all rounds beginning in 2003. “We just need to go out there and fight and give everything we’ve got,” Jokic said. Only three MVPs (Steph Curry in 2015, LeBron James in 2012 and ‘13 and Tim Duncan in 2003) have won it all since 2003 when it’ s taken 16 playoff victories to raise the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy. DENVER, CO – JUNE 11: Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets drives to the hoop with a layup against Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns in

Features. 2021 Playoffs . My NBA Account Sign in to NBA Account Select TV Provider. Game 4 : PHX wins series 4-0. Suns on verge of sweeping Nuggets , MVP . Nikola JokicN. Jokic C.

"I just didn't feel like it warranted a flagrant two ejection because he's making a play on the ball," said Malone.

"There's marginal contact to Cameron Payne's nose I believe. So I was shocked, I'm still a little bit shocked that they called a flagrant two and ejected the MVP on such a play."

"From my vantage point and watching the replay, I did not think it was a non-basketball play with malicious intent," Malone said.

"I think it was a frustration foul, Nikola probably felt the last couple plays when he had the ball he had not received a foul call. And he went over there to take a foul. Which he has done plenty of times. A lot of players do that."

"I didn't really think it was anything malicious," said Williams. "In those moments you have to regulate your emotions. That's what we've been talking about all season long.''

Jokic and Suns All-Star Booker were involved in a confrontation following the incident as a scuffle briefly broke out.

But Booker – whose Suns reached the Conference Finals for the first time since 2009-10 – said: "That's all I said, just 'What are you doing?' It's just an emotional play. I don't think he meant harm by it. Just a frustration foul. It's tough, just defending my team-mate, that was it.

"I've played against the Joker multiple times. I know he's not a malicious player."

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