NBA Hands Down Discipline for Denver Nuggets Star Nikola Jokic's Game 4 Altercation

The Denver Nuggets will have their superstar on the court for their critical Game 5 showdown with the Phoenix Suns. Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, The NBA has ruled that two-time MVP Nikola Jokic will not be suspended for his mid-game altercation with Suns owner Matt Ishbia.

Things got heated in the second quarter when Ishbia got his hands on the ball as it rolled out of bounds. Jokic tried to snatch back the ball, but Ishbia held on, distracted by Suns player Josh Okogie, who fell into the crowd. Ishbia then slapped the ball away as Jokic yanked on it. Jokic shoved Ishbia aside with his elbow, who dramatically tumbled back into his seat. Jokic earned a technical foul during the game for the confrontation and was served a $25 000 fine. 

It's impossible to discern the involved parties' intentions during the scuffle, so a suspension would have been extreme but not completely unprecedented. Clearly, there was some blame to go around. Neither Jokic nor Ishbia had a right to the ball with Okogie still fallen in the crowd, and Jokic's elbow was definitely oversold by Ishbia. For what it's worth, Ishbia took to Twitter to say he hoped nothing more would come of the incident:

“Great win for the Suns last night in an amazing series so far!" Ishbia said. "That should be and is the only story. Suspending or fining anyone over last nights incident would not be right. I have alot of respect for Jokic and don’t want to see anything like that. Excited for game 5! Go Suns!” Ishbia tweeted following Game 4."

The tumble overshadowed what was a spectacular game between the Suns and Nuggets. Jokic delivered perhaps the greatest game of his career, logging a personal-best 53 points as well as four rebounds and six assists. Unfortunately for him, he came up against an all-time dynamic duo performance from Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, who combined for 72 points on 25 of 37 from the field. The Suns won 129-124 to even the series.

With the series tied 2-2, the Suns will now travel to Denver for Game 5 on Tuesday night at 10:00 PM ET.

Photo Credit: © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports