Nikola Jokic’s MVP season may have ended a few minutes earlier than the rest of his Nuggets teammates Sunday night.
The big man was ejected from Game 4 of Denver’s playoff series with Phoenix for a Flagrant 2 foul with 3:52 remaining in the third quarter. Jokic hit Cameron Payne across the face while trying to swat the ball out of Payne’s hands.
Officials determined that Jokic met the criteria for a Flagrant 2, deeming the contact “unnecessary and excessive.” The action consisted of “windup, impact and follow-through.”
Before learning his fate, Jokic went nose to nose with Suns guard Devin Booker, who was assessed a technical foul for the encounter. Jokic exited after scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Denver trailed 83-75 at the time as it tried to stave off a sweep attempt by Phoenix in the Western Conference semifinals.