KD gets tech for shoving Jokic in sideline dustup

KD gets tech for shoving Jokic in sideline dustup

DENVER — Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic was involved in another feisty sideline confrontation Tuesday night, but this time he was on the receiving end of a shove, from Suns superstar Kevin Durant.

Durant was called for a technical foul after shoving Jokic out of the way when the two-time MVP attempted to infiltrate an impromptu huddle among Phoenix players and coaches during Denver’s 118-102 win in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal series.

“It wasn’t anything serious,” Durant said. “They were excited. They was up big, and we were trying to draw some stuff up. And you know how that goes. I don’t think it was nothing.”

The incident occurred when Nuggets reserve Bruce Brown and Jokic approached the Suns’ huddle while Devin Booker was shooting free throws with 37.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter and Denver holding a 20-point lead.

Jokic, who recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, said he was attempting to peek at the play Suns coach Monty Williams was diagramming.

“Just to see the play, I think that can help us a lot,” said Jokic, who was called for a technical foul in Game 4 after a bizarre sideline confrontation with new Suns owner Mat Ishbia. “I mean, that’s what I was doing.”

Williams suggested the league should institute a rule forbidding such spying on an opponent’s sideline huddles.

“The league has to figure out all that stuff, man,” Williams said. “There’s just too much silliness going on in the NBA when it comes to that. Everybody does it, and it should be like a written rule that you shouldn’t walk over to somebody’s huddle.”

After nudging Brown out of the way, Durant shoved Jokic in the chest with his left arm. Jokic flailed his arms after the contact. He did not react when Phoenix backup center Jock Landale lightly pushed him seconds earlier.

After the officials reviewed the play, Brown was also assessed a technical foul due to “his unsportsmanlike actions toward the Phoenix bench,” crew chief David Guthrie told a pool reporter.

“I mean, of course it’s the reaction,” Jokic said of Durant’s shove. “I don’t know why Bruce reacted on that, because if he didn’t react, we are going to have [a technical free throw], and he reacted, so we didn’t have free throws. So actually, I’m blaming Bruce.”

With the win, the Nuggets took a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is Thursday in Phoenix.


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