New York: Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was suspended one game without pay by the NBA on Friday for leaving the bench during an altercation that brought fines for two other players.
File image of Nikola Jokic. Reuters
Denver center Mason Plumlee was fined $25,000 and Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors was fined $15,000 for the incident, which came 9:14 into the opening quarter of Utah’s 114-108 victory over visiting Denver on Wednesday.
Jokic, a Serbian 7-footer (2.13m), was aggressive and near the incident which the league ruled had “created the potential for further escalation of the situation.”
Plumlee and Favors each received a technical foul and were ejected.
Jokic’s ban meant he was ineligible for Denver’s home game Friday against the Phoenix Suns, who rank worst in the Western Conference at 11-39.
Jokic averages 19.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.3 steals a game.
The 23-year-old center, who helped Serbia to Olympic silver at Rio in 2016, has sparked Denver’s 31-15 start to the season. The Nuggets have the fifth-best record in the NBA and rank second in the Western Conference, two games behind defending NBA champion Golden State.