FILE PHOTO: Jan 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) claps in the second half against the Chicago Bulls at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The NBA has suspended Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic one game without pay for leaving the bench Wednesday night during an altercation between teammate Mason Plumlee and Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors, the league announced Friday.
Plumlee was fined $25,000 and Favors assessed $15,000. Both players were ejected.
Jokic is set to serve the suspension Friday night when the Nuggets play Phoenix at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
The incident occurred in the first quarter of Utah’s 114-108 home victory on Wednesday.
Jokic took steps off the bench along the baseline during the altercation but said he didn’t step on the court. After the game, he said he wasn’t worried about a suspension for violating league rules about leaving the bench.
“I cannot step?” Jokic told reporters after the game. “I was not even close. If they’re going to fine me, they’re going to fine me, but I think I didn’t do nothing.”
While Jokic was closest to the action on the court, Nuggets guards Jamal Murray and Gary Harris also took steps but were not suspended.
The 23-year-old Jokic leads the Nuggets in scoring (19.8 points per game), rebounds (10.3) and assists (7.7). He has played in all 46 games for the Nuggets, who enter play Friday in second place in the Western Conference, two games behind Golden State.
—Field Level Media