PHOENIX SUNS

Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic thrown out as tempers flare in Game 4 vs. Suns

Jun 13, 2021, 6:54 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2021, 8:40 am
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) argues for a call with referee Rodney Mott (71) in the firs...

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) argues for a call with referee Rodney Mott (71) in the first half of Game 4 of an NBA second-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHOENIX — The Denver Nuggets lost their most impactful player in a crucial Game 4 of the conference semis against the Phoenix Suns Sunday as league MVP Nikola Jokic was tossed following a flagrant-two foul in the third quarter.

With Phoenix up 83-75 with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Jokic wound up and slapped the ball out of Cam Payne’s hands.

In the process, Jokic made contact with Payne’s face.

Payne went to the ground and stayed down for some time.

Devin Booker then went over and bumped Jokic, with the two having to be separated.

It was determined by the referees there was a windup, impact and follow-through by Jokic, necessitating the flagrant-two and resulting in the big being tossed from the contest.

Prior to leaving the floor, Jokic went over and appeared to apologize to Payne.

Booker was also given a technical foul.

Jokic ended the game with 22 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes.

The Suns ended up winning 125-118 and swept the Nuggets, advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

Phoenix will take on either the Los Angeles Clippers or Utah Jazz in the next round of the NBA Playoffs.

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) shields the ball from Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell duri...
Kellan Olson

Suns nearly pull off last-minute rally before falling to Kings at buzzer

The Phoenix Suns continue to struggle to find their form from last season that won them the Western Conference.
13 hours ago
Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes shoots over Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) during ...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton records first double-double in loss to Kings

Center Deandre Ayton had a strong performance, but the Phoenix Suns lost to the visiting Sacramento Kings.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges goes to the basket against Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holme...
Kellan Olson

Kings’ offensive firepower presents good test for Suns’ recent defensive issues

The Phoenix Suns' defense hasn't been up to par three games into the season and they are hosting a Kings team with lots of offensive skill.
3 days ago
Ishmail Wainright #12 of the Toronto Raptors brings the ball up the court against the New York Knic...
Sam Graveline

Ish Wainright relishing new opportunity with Phoenix Suns

After playing overseas for a handful of seasons, new Suns forward Ish Wainright feels blessed to have a spot on an NBA team.
3 days ago
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of the NBA game against ...
Kellan Olson

Suns can tighten up during lengthy homestand after challenging open to season

The Phoenix Suns get an extended break at home after starting the season with three games in four days and a road back-to-back.
4 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, right, is defended by Portland Trail Blazers forward Robert Covingto...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns get pounced on by Blazers in blowout loss

The Suns looked like they were back on the right track after beating the Lakers but they lost that against the Blazers the next night.
6 days ago
Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic thrown out as tempers flare in Game 4 vs. Suns