The Denver Nuggets have struggled to find consistency but seemed to overcome that Monday night against the Miami Heat.
It will be tougher for the Nuggets to build on that when they host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, November 10 (Thursday, November 11, Manila time).
Denver will be without reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, who was suspended for one game by the league after his hit on Markieff Morris at the end of the 113-96 win over the Heat on Monday.
Morris was fined $50,000 for a flagrant 2 foul that led to Jokic’s retaliation.
Heat star Jimmy Butler was also fined $30,000 for “attempting to escalate the altercation and failing to comply with an NBA security interview as part of the review process pertaining to an on-court matter.”
Monday’s game was essentially over, with Denver leading 111-94 with 2:39 left, when things got ugly. Jokic grabbed a defensive rebound and was bringing the ball upcourt when Morris ran into Jokic with a hard elbow to the center’s exposed right side as Jokic was throwing an overhead pass.
Jokic was knocked backward and then quickly went after Morris and hit him with a forceful forearm shiver to the back. Morris went down hard and was attended to by the Heat medical staff, which brought out a stretcher.
However, Morris was able to walk off the court and to the locker room. Both players were ejected.
Jokic’s first triple-double of the season was overshadowed by his ejection following his retaliatory actions against Morris.
Jokic was remorseful an hour after the game.
“I feel bad. It was a stupid play,” he said. “I’m not supposed to react that way. I thought it was going to be a take foul, (but) I think it was a dirty play. And I just needed to protect myself. I felt bad. I am not supposed to react that way, but I need to protect myself.”
The Nuggets are also without forward Michael Porter Jr. due to lower-back soreness. Porter did not play Monday, and the team did not practice Tuesday, so there was no update on Porter’s availability. – Rappler.com